Today was hands down the worst day for my job search yet. All the job sites have constant errors, especially the Connecticut one which was HTTP 503ing every other click. I have *A* single job to apply for later today for a printer tech position a town or two away. Talk about a slow Monday.
The mantra of the unemployed and underemployed is “there are NO JOBS!!!” *emphasis on the NO JOBS!!!!! part* With how abysmal things are it’s crazy just how many tech colleges are advertising all over the place. Whether TV, Radio, YouTube, Internet, pop-up ads, etc. tech colleges are all over the place promising job skills and better jobs than some silly McJob in a restaurant or store. Yet as they continue their concentrated marketing, I have to ask – has anyone actually taken an objective look at what’s going on here?
One of my electives in college was a Communications class in Broadcast Media taught by an actual news anchor from one of the local TV stations. It was a great class to say the least, but I’ll never forget the day he asked everyone two questions:
“Okay, how many of you are Communications Majors?”
*hands went up around the room*
“Okay, how many of you are willing to move when you get out of here?”
That was the kicker. A career in media or journalism would require lots of moving around since TV stations are usually in major cities. Radio’s a bit more spread out, so you might be spared the tons of moving by getting into radio, but no guarantees either.
This is the part of the story tech colleges advertising their [donkeys] off won’t mention. Just because you wanted to be XYZ when you grew up doesn’t mean you’ll actually get to be XYZ. Whenever perusing the flowery ads of a tech college, ask yourself two questions:
“Are there any jobs in this field that I want to get in to?”
“Where are they?”
Most 18-year-olds fresh out of high school who don’t go to college straight off the bat may not have thought this through as they deal with all the targeted marketing that takes advantage of youthful naïveté, but as my example from earlier shows, even seniors in expensive private colleges may be in the same boat. It would be better if collegebound high schoolers and grads actually perused local job openings first BEFORE picking a major and going off to school to make sure they wouldn’t end up like an oceanographer in Kansas or something like that. 😛 The same applies to older folks seeking career changes as well. Just because a field looks interesting doesn’t mean there are any jobs. Before signing up in some training program they should see whether there are actual positions that won’t require tons of moving, etc.
Another piece of tech and other college glitz and glimmer is the graduation job placement rate where they say something like, “90-something percent of our grads are employed within six months of graduation.” At that point you need to ask, “Doing what?” Six months when I graduated just happened to be the grace period for most student loans and the idea of not going into the red by entering repayment jobless made for great motivation to bid-down and just get A job anywhere, BUT since you got a job you’d be counted in that statistic. I was part of that statistic, but guess what I was doing 6 months after completing my bachelors? Stacking boxes on pallets on the shipping dock in a warehouse. 😛 BUT it was within six months of graduation so I was one of that “90-something percent.” 😛
Things haven’t gotten better since then. Today underemployed college grads make the joke headlines in stories about our economy. We have bartenders and waitresses with bachelors’ degrees, Ph.D custodians, etc., and I’ve done my time as a college-educated warehouse worker who should’ve been running a warehouse rather than working in one, and will do it again without hesitation. Why? Because careers are luxuries for people with lots of connections, if that even counts for anything anymore. For the rest of us, it’s about doing what needs to be done in service to others and always being open to trying new things.
This is the sort of thing the barrage of glitzy tech college commercials aren’t telling people, and something to seriously consider before making an investment in further education of ANY type.