The Last Remnants Of TechTV Are Outta Here

Ahhh TechTV, the now-ancient predecessor to today’s G4 network and many of Revision3’s shows, which brought us the monolith of geek culture via some form of mainstream video entertainment, is finally just about wiped out.

I remember the hour-long versions of The Screen Savers and Extended Play which morphed into today’s X-Play while The Screen Savers eventually became Attack Of The Show, and most of TechTV’s top talent eventually moved over to Revision3 or YouTube.  Now, it finally looks like it’s over for even those two shows, so the last remnants of that golden age of geek TV are history.

Quite frankly, I’m not too bummed out.  I really think if TechTV and now these remnant shows hadn’t been ended they would’ve been killed by new competition anyway.  I mean, for geeks like myself who care more about cable internet than cable TV with what broadband can do these days, why mess with traditional TV at all when all this IPTV geek show stuff is on demand online and can be either RSSed or directly-viewed on YouTube or sites like Revision3?

Yet even still, with these changes and G4’s eventual rebranding underway, how much of this old tech vlog that got me into these online geek shows back when I was first getting into YouTube back in 2006 is still relevant?  Any of it?  Times have definitely changed. : -)

Oh well.  Let’s have one last round of the classic Screen Savers theme song just for old times’ sake. : -)

Videos About “The College Scam”

I’ve been hearing a lot about “the college scam” lately and even sent a video up to YouTube about it for the RadioStyle series and am adding it as a category on here because I imagine this’ll eventually become a recurring topic.

This video kind of covers the basics of what the issue is here.  It’s not so much that college degrees launch careers for people, but the people who actually benefit from college educations probably were driven to succeed in the first place.  The problem is that with the public school system having shot high school in the foot now society is working on commoditizing associate’s and bachelor’s degrees as well with all these politicians wanting everybody to go to college.

This guy has the right idea.  One should know what job they want to get first before bothering with college in the first place, and even then, they should watch the numbers.

This lady has the right idea too.  🙂

The Young Turks have chimed in on it too and they make a good point about what degrees actually do.  Degrees can get someone promoted like if a management position or supervisory position requires a degree, plus at a decent school where you actually had to work hard to get a degree it shows that someone has a work ethic and can see things through to completion.  By and large though, college degrees are being way overhyped these days and this combination of hype and commoditization needs to be toned down – a lot.  =(

“Earth To Tech Colleges: Where Are The Jobs?”

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.

Is Technical Training Better Than College?

Recently in my job search I’ve been reading articles about whether or not going to college is a scam.  Besides the usual Yays and Nays I’ve run into the idea that technical training and skills may be getting better than college degrees these days and there may be a grain of truth to that, but that doesn’t mean everyone with a degree has been left with an uber-expensive conversation piece.

Basically, from what I can see, tech skills get you jobs, but degrees get you promoted.  Basically the minute any kind of leadership is involved job listings will nearly always list a 2- or 4-year degree if not higher.  Right now the local job postings are making me feel like an idiot for going to college.  Folks where I am need machinists, mechanics, truck drivers, and other careers that require technical training, but there’s very little for people with college degrees and the few postings I’m seeing are for intermediate positions where you need to have already done the job to get the job, which adds to a problem I’ve been noticing regarding people going to college but there not being any jobs because there’s next to nothing entry level when they get out and have student loans to pay.

Still though,  I used to joke about becoming a truck driver in high school, but with all the truck driver positions I’m seeing advertised, maybe I should stop joking about that.  😛  The positions range from road warrior big rig jobs to driving a soda truck around delivering soda to local supermarkets.  😛  The good news though is that technical training can give someone more bang for their buck because degrees are VERY general purpose no matter what the major.  Alongside my computer-related and business courses in college were a wide array of required electives in everything from political science to psychology, which helps make me a more well-rounded employee with a little bit of background in various disciplines, but right now all I’m seeing is administrative assistant jobs which I could probably do with one hand tied behind my back, but at least they’re full time and the pay would be enough to not need to find a second job.  I’m still thinking I should go for some certifications while working at my next job though.  I’ve probably had more than enough experience with computers to get A+ certified for years.  As a matter of fact, one of my college courses was an A+ prep course in computer hardware which I ruined the challenge in because I was reading Scott Mueller’s Upgrading And Repairing PCs book and learning how to build my own computers.  🙂  Microsoft and Cisco certs would be good too.  I’ve long been curious about getting into network hardware but could never find the resources to do so.

Regardless of whether you go the tech route, the college route, or both like I did, the big thing not to do is to become closed-minded afterwards with that one-trick-pony bad attitude that just because you learned one thing you now think you have the right to never learn anything new ever again.  I’ve met people like that, and just being around them has given me enough reasons to never want to be like them.  :-\  Never decide you’re done learning stuff, because whenever you do, you might as well retire, especially in my field.  :-\