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View Diary: Unemployment and underemployment rate among college graduates shows the problem isn't lack of skills (78 comments)

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  •  The problem is that in order to do that properly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, mimi

    they (this year's graduating HS seniors) have to look, not at what the market is demanding today, but at what it will be demanding four or five years from now (if everybody majors in what's hot today, there will be a glut tomorrow). And this is particularly difficult in technology fields, because hiring there tends to follow boom-and-bust cycles with periods uncomfortably similar to the length of time it takes to get a college degree.

    Thus, the kid who pursues a tech degree runs the risk of graduating in a down cycle, at which point his choices are quite limited: either pursue graduate study until there's an up cycle, or go into a completely unrelated field and stay there (because if he goes into an unrelated field, especially a non-degree field, just to tide things over, he's going to have a lot of trouble getting into his original field when things heat up again because employers are going to be looking only at new grads, with the unspoken assumption that anyone who couldn't get hired in the bust just wasn't any good in the first place).

    Obviously this isn't a problem for HS seniors who show every sign of being truly stellar in their fields: a kid who graduates MIT with a 3.80 isn't going to have any trouble getting hired. But that's a small majority of students, and always will be.

    Sometimes truth is spoken from privilege and falsehood is spoken to power. Good intentions aren't enough.

    by ebohlman on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:59:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. Look at all the kids who decided to go to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, horowitz

      law school in 2006, thinking they'd pull down $160k/year, easy.  That...didn't happen.

    •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

      My daughter majored in women's studies, now is a 2nd level manager in the IT department at a major financial institution.  

      I'm more worried about the "compromise immigration reform" package everyone is in love with -- without knowing what's in it.  I worry that it has big increases in H1b visas -- that will allow corporation to hire thousands of aliens for college level jobs.

      Too many of today's college students are making 4 yr bets 1. That they have what it takes to graduate and 2. That there will be a job for them when they get out.

      A very high stakes gamble.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Mon May 27, 2013 at 05:51:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure about this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      O112358
      And this is particularly difficult in technology fields, because hiring there tends to follow boom-and-bust cycles with periods uncomfortably similar to the length of time it takes to get a college degree.
      I think that in technology fields, like computer programming, unemployment rates are pretty low even in down times.  We have dramatic boom-and-bust cycles, but even in bust years the market is starving for good programmers.
      (if everybody majors in what's hot today, there will be a glut tomorrow)
      That's the advantage of getting a degree in CS or engineering.  Not everyone can major in mechanical engineering, because not everyone can pass differential equations.  You can't have a sudden glut of XYZ majors unless it's fairly easy for everyone to just switch over to it.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Mon May 27, 2013 at 09:34:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plus engineering skills (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caj

        are applicable across multiple fields.

        Individual sectors seem to fluctuate but tech skills are always in demand.

        as an EE.  One year power is hot, the next consumer electronics, next bio-electric.  But there will always be someone who will pay you a GOOD livable wage.

        If you are flexible and reasonably good. Someone will always be begging for your services.

        and i do mean BEGGING

    •  Bull poo (0+ / 0-)

      Those with STEM skills and training have had consistently MUCH lower unemployment rates for DECADES.

      Obviously this isn't a problem for HS seniors who show every sign of being truly stellar in their fields: a kid who graduates MIT with a 3.80 isn't going to have any trouble getting hired. But that's a small majority of students, and always will be.
      Again bull poo. My graduating class which graduated during the worst recession since the great depression had a near 100% employment rate and we were hardly a MIT.

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