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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the education-inflation dept.

Businesses 728

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that a college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement for getting even the lowest-level job. Many jobs that didn't require a diploma years ago — positions like dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters — increasingly requiring a college degree. From the point of view of business, with so many people going to college now, those who do not graduate are often assumed to be unambitious or less capable. 'When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,' says Suzanne Manzagol. A study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce found that more than 2.2 million jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree have been created (PDF) since the 2007 start of the recession. At the same time, jobs that require only a high school diploma have decreased by 5.8 million in that same time. 'It is a tough job market for college graduates but far worse for those without a college education,' says Anthony P. Carnevale, co-author of the report. 'At a time when more and more people are debating the value of post-secondary education, this data shows that your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree.' Even if they are not exactly applying the knowledge they gained in their political science, finance and fashion marketing classes, young graduates say they are grateful for even the rotest of rote office work they have been given. 'It sure beats washing cars,' says Georgia State University graduate Landon Crider, 24, an in-house courier who, for $10 an hour, ferries documents back and forth between the courthouse and his company's office."

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And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Interesting)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year ago | (#42982323)

Really, does it take 4 (or is it 5 now!) years to train people to be file clerks?

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982359)

censorship! ***we can't allow this post****

Thank you,

Slashdot Management Team

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Insightful)

bbeesley (2709435) | about a year ago | (#42982377)

yes apparently...unless of course you are HR and have the responsibility of weeding potential candidates for that you just need the ability to blindly check resumes for a list of arbitrary requirements

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42982625)

yes apparently...unless of course you are HR and have the responsibility of weeding potential candidates

for that you just need the ability to blindly check resumes for a list of arbitrary requirements

I've found that our HR department does a much better job of screening candidates than I do as the hiring manager -- I don't really have the time to adequately screen 300 resumes, so I'll make a first pass and screen on criteria that I can filter out using the candidate management system -- desired salary range, education level, years of experience, and the 3 questions that candidates have to fill out while applying.

And a note to job seekers: when you apply for a job online and the system asks you to answer a few specific questions about the job before you submit your resume, fill out those questions carefully, because those are weedout questions, when the hiring manager scans the list of candidates, he's not even going to look at your resume if he doesn't like the answer to those questions.

And be realistic with salary ranges, entering a range that's unrealistically low is as bad as one that's unrealistically high... don't assume that a low salary will guarantee that you'll pass the screening. If someone is applying for a senior developer position and includes $20 - $30K in his acceptable salary range, I'm not even going to look at his resume because he either doesn't know what someone in his position should be earning, or he's not good enough to command a reasonable salary.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982639)

How about weeding them out according to character? Like how many candidates do you see who spend just a few months on a job before hopping to the next? Guys who just can't commit themselves to one thing for a reasonable amount of time (read: 3 years). I am a recruiter and I see several profiles where candidates are in a job only for a few months before they're on to their next. Base the selection criteria on their actual achievements in their past jobs, as well as their reputation for committing to something before bailing. That's a much better criteria on which to base a future employee selection

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42982695)

Those would be called "Contractors", people you bring on for a job or length of time to solve a problem, and then both parties move on. If your recruiting firm is placing w2 workers at FTE positions, where they flaked out after a few months, I'd imagine your company doesn't get a whole lot of business.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982813)

Except that the jobs in discussion here are not contract jobs - they are regular salaried jobs, and I'm describing profiles of people who are full time employees, not contractors. No, I automatically weed them out - I look for people who are at least 3 years in most of their jobs. The only people who seem to fit that are older workers who started working in the 70s & 80s and are still with the same company that they started with - IBM, EDS, et al

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982661)

Arbitrary requirements are there for a reason: CYA. In order to avoid expensive litigation and settlements in a number of states, it's a very good idea to have enumerable reasons and missed requirements for not hiring someone.

A college degree is simply a way to pare down the number of candidates you have to evaluate. If you have a position that states a Bachelor's degree is required and there are 500 applicants, 300 of which have college degrees, you have the ability to very quickly and more importantly, in a very riskless way, eliminate 200 candidates for the position.

Do you think most hiring managers or team managers give a flip if your entry-level helpdesk or file clerk or what have you has a degree? Not even in the slightest. They care about the fact that they can safely and quickly eliminate potential candidates for said position when a large number of people apply.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982457)

Ubuntu £inux is making America go broke. Ubuntu's philosophy of openness is a lie because they steal your information and sell it to the Amazon and NSA agents who use it to profile you. To what end nobody knows. Microsoft has tried to prevent Ubuntu from creating the first serious monopoly in computing history but anti trust laws have proven noneffective against the Ubuntu juggernaut. It won't be long until the Canonical tax drives the cost of computers through the roof so only the rich can afford one. Did you know that Ubuntu can't run the hit release Aliens: Colonial Marines? This is a serious offense because Ubuntu could kill the video game industry causing millions to lose jobs. All that in the name of communism. Rest assured that Canonical is no hippie paradise: their phones will contain black ops NSA tracking ribbons that can geolocate you without electricity anywhere in the world, the same technology used to track $20 bills. Some speculate the NSA works for Canonical, but there is no proof. But you have to ask the question.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982505)

We need a "WTF?" mod choice...

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (1)

smg5266 (2440940) | about a year ago | (#42982761)

Hands down one of the funniest things i've read all week

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982523)

No, it doesn't. But IQ and other tests are racist and criminal background checks are racist, so sayeth the Federal Government. So a college degree is the only tool businesses have to filter out grossly unqualified job candidates.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (5, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42982549)

Precisely!!!

This is one of the tragic developments when every job - right down to a janitor's - requires a degree. There are plenty of jobs which do not require anything more than high school, and indeed, people who drop out and go for these are sensible in not wasting time for something they're not meant for. Just as not everybody's gonna be a PhD, similarly, not everybody is gonna be a bachelors or masters. Things like truck drivers, file clerks, postal workers, AAA workers, pizza delivery guys - all of these are important jobs that need to be filled, and none of them require college degrees.

In fact, by requiring higher educational qualifications for these lower level jobs, while the price of education is going up due to the resultant increasing demand, the value of it is going to the toilet. It's a cliché that one needs a good education to be successful - and by successful, I don't mean being one of those party goers in Madison Avenue or Beverly Hills. I mean anybody who can nail a job and lead a content family life. By requiring an education for every job, it just artificially shoots up living costs, puts greater burdens on schools & colleges, and forces overqualified people into the workplace - or more kids staying at home w/ their parents.

For the lower level jobs that don't require much education in & of itself, a better metric would be to pick employees based on character, as opposed to education. Is s/he someone who's dedicated to the job, punctual, honest and capable of sticking to a job for a reasonable amount of time? Too many people in the work force - particularly younger workers - change jobs every few months, which is a telltale sign of a lack of commitment and eager to try making a fast buck. Why not weed out those, instead of checking whether the girl you are gonna hire as a secretary or someone who'll work in the office cafeteria has a Masters degree? This is the result of too much of an emphasis being given on education - even when it's not needed!

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982811)

Just to be funny and not to criticize anything you just said.

I am a really big fan of the Klingon version of success. Q'plah.

So on a more straight and sociological bent. Society today is ostracizing and eliminating anyone with an adventurer's and explorer's spirit. It wants wrote learning, and no trial by error types. Society dictates that you must learn from people who learned before you and must not learn on your own. Even military training is like this now. Everything must be certified and double checked and insured.

Can't wait till I can get that 2 year degree for a small half life time debt to be a certifier of other peoples certifications.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982551)

I don't know, but judging by job listings hiring for IT positions, they care more about what you can actually do. Every single time you see a degree mentioned it's, "or equivalent work experience".

Maybe there's a practicality in IT that we don't always appreciate.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (4, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#42982565)

This story can't be true in all markets.

In my area, many employers look at a degree as something to be avoided if it isn't outright needed.

They don't really want a know-it-all with all these great job options out there (their perception, not necessarily reality).

They want you to know how to do the job already, but still need the employer.

I got more calls back when I used my still-in-school resume.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (-1, Troll)

Myopic (18616) | about a year ago | (#42982573)

You don't need any education at all to do many jobs but I don't see anyone suggesting that we stop educating our children. Most of us believe that education has attendant extraneous benefits. If you don't think so then by all means start a business and undercut the competition by hiring people who dropped out of 9th grade, because hey I bet those flunkies will be equal in every way to college graduates, except for the unhelpful education, right? Good luck with that.

A bachelor's degree is a low bar. People who can't do a chin-up on that bar have some questions to answer before they get to complain about not being offered jobs over people who can. If you disagree, explain why a high school degree is a reasonable threshold, but a college degree isn't. Frankly I feel under-educated with my lowly bachelor's degree.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (4, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#42982709)

One is provided by the government for everyone, the other requires paying tens of thousands of dollars.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42982665)

Really, does it take 4 (or is it 5 now!) years to train people to be file clerks?

Not so much train as filter out those who are lazy or inept.

You should see the quality of people we get without a college degree. I spend about 25% of my time cleaning up stupid mistakes others make.

Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982751)

No, of course it doesn't. This is just a symptom of:

1) A fairly high rate of unemployment
2) Widespread availability of job postings and aggregation sites

Due to these things, there are often 100s of applicants for each position. I, myself, have been tasked, on occasion, to help weed out candidates. The last time HR had gotten it down from something ridiculous to about 85 that passed the first hurdle. We only had one position open. You aren't going to interview all 85. So you have to do some winnowing. In a market with too few open positions and a wealth of applicants - you need to pick something half way reasonable to start the winnowing process. A degree is simply an oft-chosen starting point for that.

u no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982331)

Bill Frist Post!

Signalling (5, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#42982349)

the key statement is:

'When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,'

As one professor pointed out in an econ class - the real value of a degree is the signal it sends - you are someone who at least can stick to something long enough to finish it. Simply put, it takes some of the workload off of the person looking to hire.

Re:Signalling (2)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year ago | (#42982379)

Someday, an enterprising staffing firm will figure out a cheaper way to send the signals you're speaking of, and make millions on the spread.

Re:Signalling (1)

Myopic (18616) | about a year ago | (#42982641)

Maybe, but I doubt it. If so, someone would have done it. A four-year bachelor's degree can be had for six months of middle-class wages so it's not expensive at the low end. People who refuse to go get one "because of the cost" are lying to themselves, or to you. My guess is they just couldn't make it.

I did know one guy, once, who was just as smart as me but only had a high school degree. He had managed to worm his way into a middle-class government job, but he'd hit the ceiling of where he could go without a BA. He's the only exception I've personally met to the rule that education cleaves to ability.

Re:Signalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982715)

No, it can't. You're not including the lost wages for four years, nor the cost of living for those four years.

Re:Signalling (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42982431)

It's always been tough for new grads, they tend to set unrealistic expectations, just cause you're good at what you do in your class in college, doesn't mean your going to land the next available senior position at a company. In fact, it's a bad fit, 100% of the time, nobody is ready for that w our current schooling systems. There's more mid-level jobs, than starter jobs, but there's work to be had for the person who isn't looking to land into a fortune 500 on their first try. What I've found is like highschool jobs, the first post-degree job is usually a quitter position. Mine included.

I'm getting a different message (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42982455)

the real value of a degree is the signal it sends

Very true!

you are someone who at least can stick to something long enough to finish it.

That is not the message a modern degree sends.

The modern degree sends a message that you are a herd animal, to the point that you will stay with the herd even to the point of your own financial ruin.

There's no question that to some companies a docile herd animal with no instincts for self-preservation is a valuable resource. I'm just not sure I'd want to work for them given the likely expectations.

Re:I'm getting a different message (-1, Flamebait)

Myopic (18616) | about a year ago | (#42982687)

What financial ruin? My total student loans were about nine months of marginal earnings, or about three months of actual earnings. If I had paid cash and taken 100% student loans (nobody does this for a BA) at my top-cost Ivy-league school, that would have cost me about three years of wages.

College is incredibly cheap. People who claim its expensive are morons or ideologues or trolls.

Re:I'm getting a different message (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982701)

Yup, that you were willing to spend 5 yrs of your life and 100K to save someone looking to hire a paper shuffler a few minutes of decision making.

So what happens when all 800 resumés send the same signal?

Re:Signalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982467)

While that's true, over time it ultimately devalues education (and rightly so). As a high school graduate you can spend thousands of dollars on an education just to obtain a menial job when you're done, or you can spend that time networking, making connections, and working on what really interests you to become the next great entreprenure. If I had it to do over again I think I'd rather do the latter. There's far more opportunity there, and you're more free not getting bogged down writing meaningless papers on stuff no one cares about anyway.

Re:Signalling (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#42982479)

The Econ professor should have mentioned that the supply of college graduates is so high that non-college graduates with high school diplomas are now the rarer commodity. Within reason, it is now actually more admirable to pass on college. (within reason = did well in HS and showed commitment, competence, and drive in your post HS jobs)

Re:Signalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982767)

In job terms, it's never more admirable to pass on something (acquire work experience, earn qualifications, ). It's only admirable if you did something else that was good instead.

In your example the important thing that gets you the job is your exemplary post high school work experience, not that you didn't go to college. You have to rely on a very particular kind of person to hire you because you don't have a degree. Hiring someone because they have lots of experience happens multiple times every day -- that's not a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. (5, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42982487)

It is inefficient to make everyone spend 4 extra years in school just so lazy recruiters can save themselves a couple hours, to say the least.

Re:That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982659)

It's not laziness, it's reality. There are a finite number of hours in the day, and when your interview process also involves bringing your potential coworkers and boss into the process so you get an interview from people who actually know the job, doing excess interviews is a huge waste of time. You're only going to be hiring the top X candidates regardless, and the odds of any of those X coming from the degree-less group are significantly lower than those with a degree. It's not zero, but it's low enough that in the interest of saving everyone's time you skip them over unless you have reason to do otherwise.

Re:That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. (5, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42982765)

If the job doesn't require a degree, you shouldn't even be looking at candidates with degrees. Unless you want to be stuck with someone who's just going to be there until they can find a real job. You have it exactly backwards, as does the whole insane job market.

Re:Signalling (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42982559)

Of course, for the more astute, it sends the signal that you have some big loans to pay off and you're going to need a bigger paycheck to do it.

Re:Signalling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982569)

"As one professor pointed out in an econ class - the real value of a degree is the signal it sends - you are someone who at least can stick to something long enough to finish it..."

But, then again, I'd have to wonder why someone with a college degree is applying for a file clerk position. After all, taking on a huge debt just to get a job as a file clerk makes so much sense.

But, then AGAIN, this is Slashdot. I wonder how much money Dice was paid by the Association of American Colleges and Universities for this article.

Re:Signalling (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42982771)

That's a pretty expensive way to prove you can complete a task. If the role involves money I'd be concerned they don't know value for money and wouldn't hire them.

Re:Signalling (5, Interesting)

madhatter256 (443326) | about a year ago | (#42982775)

It also signals you are likely loaded with student loan debt and are desperately in need of a job. This will gives you a disadvantage as the company will you see a hard-working, low payable employee. In other words, your ass will get ridden by management and subliminally reminded that they can easily let you go, which will effectively limit your career growth.

I see this in all types of careers.

Another source for the devaluation of the 4-year college degree are these Baccalaureate degrees from these for-profit universities.

Having a masters degree, even more debt, helps you grow in your career and in a few years from now, a masters will be considered a "diploma" in the math/science industry. These for-profit schools are beginning to push these degrees to unsuspecting victims.

Indeed (5, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#42982357)

What a fine way of guaranteeing every citizen massive debts (public or private) for the privilege of a job.

Yay de-industrialization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982441)

Isn't de-industrialization great?

Re:Indeed (5, Insightful)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year ago | (#42982537)

Especially when the job's wages they make don't come close to paying off their degree. Honestly, I don't think that a degree says much about a person. Everyone's story is different. I didn't finish my bachelor's degree because I didn't think they had anything useful to teach me --I taught the staff, students, and teachers at the university more about computers than they taught me anything about anything --other than a 4-year degree is a big waste of money. And, I still work at the university after 13 years there, doing quite well. And I have no degree, whatsoever. What the institution wants you to think is they will make you successful...in reality, you have to want to make yourself. No one can do it for you. While I'm sure that a degree backed from an Ivy-league will be beneficial, the true possibility of success is measured out with a person's internal desire to succeed, everyday.

Re:Indeed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982681)

You don't see the big picture, mate. By making $25k and even $75k and $150k student loan debt normal they can control you. Like the coal miners of the 1800s they want you indebted to them, even if you can never pay it back, so they can always have leverage on you. They already have more money than you can possibly imagine, so they're willing to sink some costs if they can have permanent control over you, forever. Now you might be thinking you don't need college or that you can pay your loan off, but the odds are artificially stacked against you. They've stacked the deck so that it's nearly impossible to break from the cycle, and if you do manage to ascend they try to integrate you into their culture so you don't try to dislodge them. Isn't that great?

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982735)

But having a brain doesn't hurt either.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982539)

It's time to send a new message to corporate America: "keep your job!" We need to break free from this idea that if you don't work for some corporation you have no security, or future. It's not been true for a long time anyway. There's no loyalty, there's no appreciation, there's no long term benefit. You work your whole life to make someone else rich so you can pay your bills? Why would we do that? If you're a skilled individual market your skillset, and don't sell off cheap. Make them pay what's fair for what you're giving them, or don't give it to them. Free market is a two way street. The only reason things are the way they are is because we've accepted it. Corporations are nothing without employees to do the work. And there are way more of us than there are of them.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982783)

You work your whole life to make someone else rich so you can pay your bills? Why would we do that?

Because that's how civilization works. There's a reason we keep organizing societies in this manner. It's because it's in our nature to do so. Incidentally, it's also in our nature to overthrow the existing powers when they become intolerable.

i'd rather be washing cars... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982361)

...than have a massive pile of debt that I don't expect to pay off until I'm 50 and still making car washing wages.

Re:i'd rather be washing cars... (4, Funny)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42982677)

You're gonna need a PhD in Molecular Biology for that

Re:i'd rather be washing cars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982713)

Meh, my college debt was paid off within 2 years. People racking up 6 figures of college debt (and then demanding it be paid off by someone else) are the 1%. Like they say -- life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.

Re:i'd rather be washing cars... (2)

Myopic (18616) | about a year ago | (#42982733)

Me too.

But I'd rather have this nice cushy job having paid off my student loans in 6 years and now making two-times the national median income, than wash cars. And I could have paid them off in 2 years but the loans were so incredibly cheap that it was uneconomic to pay them off faster. Wow, damn, education is so cheap compared to its value! What a great country we live in!

It sounds to me like you are making excuses for failure but it is possible you are just trolling.

Re:i'd rather be washing cars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982781)

How's it feel to be one of the lucky ones?

The only thing I can think of... (3, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42982365)

Over qualification, if somebody is actually requiring a college degree to scan groceries (clerk), they can go shove it. Then again according to this article the people at the NY Times only have HS diplomas, so should anybody really listen to them?

Also, based on the example given, Landon Cider sounds like he went for a law degree and rather than becoming the billionth lawyer, he got stuck as the water boy.

Try MeN! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982369)

MeN is a great free cross-dressing document processor that uses LaTeX on his back end for export.

Not exactly WYSIWYG (WhoYouSuckIsWhyYouGay), but close enough. You export to PuS or PDF as needed.

You can see basically what your ejaculations look like while editing before you buttsex it. You can still use normal LaTeX commands too, but anyone with basic men experience can jump right in.

I have used a tons of things for over a decade now.

It's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982381)

In order to be employable, you have to get a degree, which costs a fortune, so you have to be burdened with lifelong debt!

Furthermore, since everyone needs a degree, more government loan money will be made available, which means colleges will be able to raise prices even more, which means the market will be flooded with even more people who have even more debt and hence are even more desperate for even longer.

Before too long, Americans will be as employable as foreigners!

This is spam (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982387)

I wouldn't use the NY Times to line a birdcage.

By CATHERINE RAMPELL

"joining The Times, Catherine wrote for the Washington Post editorial pages and financial section and for The Chronicle of Higher Education"

        * The Chronicle of Higher Education
        * 1255 Twenty-Third St, N.W.
        * Washington, D.C. 20037

So this is basically a lobbyist for higher ed encouraging everyone to take out education loans.

No thanks.

Problem is, they're all morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982389)

The breakdown in parenting and education has resulted in your typical 20 year old American being a complete idiot. If you guys could stop being such idiots, we could stop using the college filter on you. Honestly, the college graduates are not a whole lot better.

Try being less dumb.

Re:Problem is, they're all morons. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42982557)

The breakdown in parenting and education has resulted in your typical 20 year old American being a complete idiot. If you guys could stop being such idiots, we could stop using the college filter on you. Honestly, the college graduates are not a whole lot better.

Try being less dumb.

Care to point out exactly when your typical 20 year old American WASN'T a complete idiot? The 1700's? 1945? 1960?

Just curious.

Re:Problem is, they're all morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982769)

19longago+1i ... it was a complex year.

Re:Problem is, they're all morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982809)

It's not that they're complete idiots - it's that they're completely narcissistic, entitled, helpless, infantilized little shits who don't take responsibility for anything, and who believe they can maintain a state of perpetual childhood even as they raise their own children. The ones who don't fit this description are the rare exceptions. To find a time when the average 20 year old was NOT this way, you only have to go back about 2 generations - about 40-50 years.

The Baby Boom generation raised a generation of children more closely resembling Augustus Gloop and Veruca Salt [wikipedia.org] than the so-called "Greatest Generation" they were raised by. And so we have the world we live in today.

-1, Obvious? (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#42982411)

Can we mod an entire article down? How is this news for anyone?

University is a cult (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982429)

It's a cancer. They use the idea of knowledge and education, but in reality they're just a business, out there to make money and reel in the suckers who don't know any better. Much like real estate. Why do you need university when you have libraries? Or the internet in the last few decades?

Re:University is a cult (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year ago | (#42982633)

Because there's no way to prove you've actually read and understood the library books you took home or the internet sites you visited.

Re:University is a cult (1)

Myopic (18616) | about a year ago | (#42982791)

A college education is the single greatest value in the modern world. Nothing else even comes close. Dollar-for-dollar, nothing else delivers more quality of life to the individual -- nothing. People who complain about its cost have no idea what they are talking about.

Hiring your own (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982439)

The person hiring you went to college and they have college loan debt up to their eyeballs. They would prefer to hire someone who made the same mistake of going to college as they did to justify their own career path.

Hiring manager perspective (3, Interesting)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#42982673)

Actually, I graduated without a dime in student loan debt. I worked full time and went to school full time (with a very understanding employer). Now, I am a hiring manager in the world of IT. I value experience, but a degree shows that you have some soft skills to go with your knowledge. A degree with business courses also shows me that you will understand other functions of the company, and not just your own job. An engineering degree shows me you are able to solve complex problems and have learned to research well. Even a liberal arts degree at least shows me you are able to meet deadlines and focus. Certifications will get your foot in the door, whereas a degree will move your career path along.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982447)

"From the point of view of business, with so many people going to college now, those who do not graduate are often assumed to be unambitious or less capable."

And what does it say when a person completes their college education and is satisfied getting $10/hr? Ambition and capability are defined by the job and the wages, as much as the person you hire for it. If you get a college grad to do menial labor, then one of two things are true: that person has less ambition or capability than any of his peers, or that person is going to be very unhappy working there in about a month's time or less, because they're overqualified and you'd be better off looking for someone who is a better match for the job unless you like having high rates of turnover.

Re:Stupid (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#42982777)

What does it say?

"I enjoy 21st century serfdom."

No Degree for Me (2, Informative)

JHutson456 (2518246) | about a year ago | (#42982451)

I guess I'm just lucky then? I have no degree and get $20 an hour. This place isn't even the best paying company in the area either. I'll skip the indoctrination and keep earning double what these college kids get.

Re:No Degree for Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982603)

I guess I'm just lucky then? I have no degree and get $20 an hour. This place isn't even the best paying company in the area either. I'll skip the indoctrination and keep earning double what these college kids get.

yeah, but if you HAD a degree, you'd be making $21/hr! Don't you wish you racked up that student debt now?!

Re:No Degree for Me (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about a year ago | (#42982637)

Well...yes, you are lucky. I know people similar to your situation that managed to get the right positions and connections early on such that the empty college line on their resume was inconsequential. I also know college graduates like the one mentioned in the summary who seem stuck in an endless loop of shit jobs that they're constantly laid off from (not fired).

The way I see it it's all about how you get your foot in the door. Some people find their connections out of high school and others require that college degree.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982739)

Yes, you are just lucky. Not sure for how long this luck will last, and how easy it will be to find another similar job. There are exceptions (like Bill Gates), diploma can be substituted by experience and references. But at the beginning, when one has nothing else, it has value. Also education helps organizing thinking process, which can be important on some positions.:)

Re:No Degree for Me (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#42982815)

I make a cool 65k working in STL without a degree. I make more than my friends, some of whom have Masters degrees in CS. Article is tripe written by a Higher Education shill.

Today on Slashdot We Directly Contradict Yesterday (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42982473)

Two months ago, Hugh Pickens writes: "Just Say No to College" [slashdot.org] and today he's relaying to us 'your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree.'

*head explodes*

So ... Hugh Pickens wants everyone to be unemployed?

Re:Today on Slashdot We Directly Contradict Yester (4, Insightful)

n1ywb (555767) | about a year ago | (#42982755)

Slashdot is a news aggregator. The posts don't necessarily reflect the ops opinions. I for one appreciate the opportunity to hear both sides of the story.

My experience with GSU (1)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#42982493)

having a degree from GSU barely qualifies some of their graduates for shuttling documents. I think there are people that graduate that do nothing other than stare at a wall.

Says Something About High-Schools in the US (3, Insightful)

mackai (1849630) | about a year ago | (#42982495)

Unfortunately, it is also a reflection on the ease with which a lot of people make it through high-school without ever having to learn much in the way of responsibility. For example, when you work, your employer actually expects that you will show up on Monday morning and be somewhat functional. The college degree is no guarantee to the prospective employer but it usually has required more self-discipline than high-school.

Re:Says Something About High-Schools in the US (2)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | about a year ago | (#42982699)

While I don't disagree that America's public education system is lacking, the stats in this article point more toward job scarcity than anything. Something else to consider is how easy it is to apply for a job these days. Technology lets us copy/paste/save/email resumes out a hundred times a day without breaking a sweat. I'm willing to bet that, while employers are seeing a greater number of applicants for each open position, applicants are applying for a greater number of positions.

No love for the military folks? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982499)

The military has many programs and partnerships to help you get your degree while you are serving but most are from little unknown colleges. The oppurtunity is there though.

I could have got a Nuclear Technolgies degree using my military training, experience, and background and nothing but a few cleps. I slacked off and never did it. That was 15 years ago and I never thought i would need it. I got out of that field and I am now the network manager at a large international company. Even though I made it this far, I see our hiring practices changing to require degrees. Even off the wall degrees that have nothing to do with the job come past me. I personally still consider past work experience in the area we are hiring for as the most important criteria and military experience and college degree second but our HR department does not.

Re:No love for the military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982789)

Some of us have no desire to be sent off to be cannon fodder to fight in someone else's war.

I wish someone would do an economical study (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#42982501)

on the value of a college degree. Having just put my two kids through college I can't believe it is a "profitable" move. Of course kids now adays don't pay for their own college. They either get daddy to pay for it or amass a mountain of debt that will haunt them for ages. But we're "told" that you "must" have a 4-year degree to succeed these days. Personally I think that's a joke.

Thought a Masters Degree was needed to be in Sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982521)

I think you need to have a Masters Degree to do Sales at the following stores:
Staples
FutureShop/Best Buy
Home Depot

If you want to be in Store Management you need a more Advanced Degree like a High School Diploma.

No Child Left Behind (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#42982533)

Well with initiatives like "No child Left behind", where you really have to work at failing for the school system to let you, a college diploma is the only standardised ubiquitous way that a HR person can tell if someone is likely not a complete waste of space.

Non-college graduate here.

The sharpest guy I ever met. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982543)

I've been in tech for a couple of decades and the sharpest guy I've ever met (that includes some PhDs at IBM) didn't have a college degree.

Anyway, one day I was asked to recommend someone for the device driver team. I recommended the guy without the college degree.

MGR: "Device drivers are something that only someone with a college degree should write."

Me: "Why? The guy is sharp. I've seen him solve problems that no one else has."

MGR: "In my experience .... "

You know how it goes when someone starts off with "in my experience" or other phrases that begin like that.

He was passionate about computers and coupled with his raw talent, he was just incredible.

Last I heard (in the 90s) he was at a startup. He's either on the street or on a private island surrounded by beautiful naked women.

tl;dr - Hiring managers (who HR works for - don't forget that!) have preconceived notions about what makes a "good" employee and are under the delusion that their opinions are fact.

Re:The sharpest guy I ever met. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#42982645)

The conversation should have gone like this:

MGR: "Device drivers are something that only someone with a college degree should write."
You: "Well, Ok, the second best guy for the job is...(somebody on the staff with a college degree). I would have thought you wanted the guy who would do the best job, but it's your call."

The poor get poorer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982545)

Without a degree, its nigh impossible to find a job that will give you over 30 hours a week, thanks to Obamacare. Not to mention the lack of health insurance.

The good news is that most non-degreed workers will now be poor enough for Medicare.

and then 5 years after hire... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982579)

you're laid-off, chosen for that fate because you're "over qualified"...

replaced with someone with the same degree but no experience (with that employer). the degree doesn't make you over qualified, a few years on the job and making more than their starting wage for the position, does.

Screw HR... (4, Informative)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#42982591)

It isn't what you know, it is WHO you know.

Stop answering job ads by filling out forms and sending them to HR drones. Find a way to make direct contact with people who make hiring decisions. Network. Schmooze. Volunteer at charitable events -- especially charity golf events.

When I was out of work I volunteered to update the web presence of an exclusive downtown executive club in a big city. It was a horrid mess of Cold Fusion and Visual Basic -- the old kind, before dot Net. Fixing it wasn't point. Getting free invites to attend functions at the exclusive downtown business club got me to rub elbows with people who made hiring decisions -- and needed competent IT employees.

Getting ahead without a degree can be done. Yes, it is harder, but alternate paths do exist if you try. And then there is the "I have no student loan debt" benefit.

You'll also be surprised how many of the people who own their own successful businesses at those exclusive clubs never finished college.

Unsurprising ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982601)

This is what America wants for herself.

Why hire your own citizens when you can hire an H1B candidate and pay them less?

Why invest in your own people when you can offshore jobs for cheaper?

After the US have offshored all of their jobs, carved out their own middle class -- all of these companies are going to find they don't have any domestic market for their products.

This is pretty much the natural conclusion of globalization, and it's American companies who are gutting America.

In 20 or 30 years, America should have the 3rd world conditions they've been striving for -- but corporate profits will be at an all time high, and the domestic economy will be in the toilet. But as long as you keep cutting taxes on the downtrodden wealthy, stay the course.

hardly surprising... (1)

syf0n (208210) | about a year ago | (#42982609)

With the (average) quality of education so low in america today, the quantity required will certainly rise.

Re:hardly surprising... (1)

Gabrill (556503) | about a year ago | (#42982753)

Hear Hear! High school diplomas are worthless when students are graduated based on federal requirements on passing quantities of students.

How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about a year ago | (#42982617)

I own businesses in the Midwest and South Florida. When I post a job listing (usually through Craigslist), I specifically request people with no degree apply.

In the past 9 years, 100% of people I've hired were undegreed. These were the people I wanted, because they specifically weren't indoctrinated into the college mentality. I want self-starters, people I can later on invite to become a business partner. I also don't want political correctness, feminism or any of the other progressive mindsets in any of my businesses. Those people can hit the road -- I don't even want them as customers.

I also hate having employees with major debt.

I pay better than average wages, and I purposely look through applications for the non-degreed folks.

I'd love to see a job search website that focuses on people bright enough to skip 4 years of college and just hit the employment roles.

Of course, I don't have HR departments, I would never hire an MBA, and I go out of my way to work with the millions of entrepreneurs out there who also didn't go to college but are earning bank.

Maybe with luck society will separate into two groups: the politically correct nauseated degreed folks and the self-driven and determined entrepreneurial type.

Always felt this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982649)

I have felt this was the case since the 90's and it is just becoming more true. This seems to imply that advanced degrees are the new college degrees, and those can cost as much as a house! Or more depending on your market.

Info pulled from http://www.collegesurfing.com/content/how-much-does-it-cost-get-masters/

Bachelors Degree: $105,092 in total bachelor's degree tuition at private school and $28,080 at public school.
Masters Degree: The average debt of a master's degree student upon graduation can range anywhere from $30,000-120,000, according to FinAid.org

That is $50,000 (most likely for a degree at a college that is not well known or respected) up to $200,000+. Yikes.

Hows is this news? (1)

kramer2718 (598033) | about a year ago | (#42982675)

Seriously.

It has been the case for nearly a decade that a college diploma was necessary even for low level jobs.

Food service, hospitality, factory work, agriculture, manual labor, and adult services are the only industries left where you can get an entry level job without a college degree, and those jobs suck.

Creeping requirements (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42982717)

This is a clear sign that supply exceeds demand. Since unlike most commodities, we must ensure that everyone can have an income, it is necessary for us as a society to either reduce supply or drive demand until HR requirements are again aligned with actual necessities for the job offered.

Cutting the work week by just 10% (in other words, declare Friday afternoon a holiday) out to just about do it. Alternatively, we could implement basic income to reduce demand for employment.

Cost/Benefit: Not there anymore (1)

Gabrill (556503) | about a year ago | (#42982721)

The biggest tragedy is the debt you have to assume for $10.00 an hour job.

25 years experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982741)

I've never had trouble finding work with a college diploma (computer programming). Where I end having trouble is their unrealistic experience requirements. "Must have minimum 10 years demonstrated experience with Microsoft Excel, C++, Adobe ,......" plus knowledge of some obscure language like Clipper is an "asset".

The educational system in this country is BS now (2)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about a year ago | (#42982743)

The educational system in this country is BS at this point. I dropped out of college 3 times - the first time, to pursue an internship which my university didn't officially endorse, then again after returning to that same university, and then again from an online college. I began to realize that what I was learning was in no way going to help me in my chosen field, and I have a perfectly fine job which could not possibly benefit from a degree anyhow.

The problem is not that people should need a 4-year degree for basic jobs, but that the K-12 system is no longer sufficiently educating many graduates - and that HR departments are either lazy or overloaded to the point where they just slap a 4-year degree down as a minimum requirement (whether the position really needs it or not). Because I graduated from a very good private high school, and actually tried during those years, not just sliding by, I have plenty of knowledge, skill, and experience to hold myself just fine in the sorts of jobs that interest me.

I've held my current job for over seven years now, which is a good indication of interest in a career, rather than just a paycheck - and ought to be plenty of proof to any future companies I might want to work for that I can 'stick with something'... when it is worthwhile. Frankly, any company not willing to look over my full resume and consider my value without regard to my college education is one I wouldn't want to work for anyways.

So much for your stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982779)

I will use two siblings as an example (we live in United States of America).
 
Sibling one has multiple four year college degrees, been trained as a air stewardess, graphics artist, bar tender, sales publishing, and a few more I can't keep track of. They have been on welfare for over 9 years, living with parents for most of time, and uses Macintosh products.

Sibling two has high school education and passed a few Cisco exams (CCNA, and a couple for CCNP). Likes routers, switches, and playing pranks on co-workers. $180K / year without bonus. Doesn't like "free loaders". Has quit jobs >100K / year without having another job lined up. Gets new job within 2 weeks. Uses Apple products at work and Windows for home.

Everyone is different.
 
The main characteristic of sibling one is bad attitude. The second sibling is right place at right time and charm. These are through my observations over the years.

Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42982799)

Hard work and working your way up still works. So does trade school and CC. You may hit a glass ceiling sooner than someone with a four year degree but you can get your college degree later if and when that time comes. My son worked his way up to $18/hr as an auto mechanic while he was working on his degree and certification for HVAC at a local CC. Not bad for a 21 yo that has no debt. I paid for the 3 years of CC and that was roughly $6-7k total.

The real reason they like it (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42982803)

I think degrees in the US especially are a must because it proves you're a debt slave and you'll play ball out of fear of not being able to pay your debt. US businesses didn't realise the north won the war and are still trying to turn everyone into their slave.
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