Is it worth going to college to secure viable employment? Once, the future looked bright, for students earning a university degree and selecting from various offers from employers. Today the mere notion that such a question can and should be asked illustrates that the American economy has greatly transitioned into a very insecure and tenuous career opportunity society. When the lack of employment realities drives job seekers to leave the search for rewarding positions that offer a chance for a path to attaining middle class aspirations, the entire labor equation needs to be rethought.
Putting forth the optimistic viewpoint that Job chances are up for Class of 2015, spins prospects are improving.
“According to the available numbers, hiring is projected to increase somewhere between 8 and 16 percent for the class of 2015. Graduates in California and across the country are benefiting from good timing. The economy is rebounding, baby boomers are retiring and companies that put off hiring are short-staffed.
But new graduates are competing with a backlog of recent grads who also are looking for work and may have more experience. Despite the recovery, the unemployment rate for young college graduates is still north of 7 percent. The underemployment rate – which also counts part-time workers who want full-time jobs and discouraged workers who have stopped looking – is nearly 15 percent.
Both those rates are still higher than in 2007, before the Great Recession, the Economic Policy Institute points out.”
However, is this true and what about the permanent unemployed and the underemployed? Entry level positions no longer offer training programs as a gateway to senior management. The crux of corporatism is that labor is expendable and a work force becomes interchangeable.
The corporate world operates by a set of standards that workers are readily available at low rates of remuneration and can be replaced without harming the organization.
Small business does not view their employees with such a cavalier attitude. Buying into the myth that a college degree is necessary to achieve employment novena is breaking down. The obvious reality that Mounting Student Debt Shapes Rough Job Outlook For Young College Graduates, is a factor that must be confronted when entering into the higher education cocoon.
“This year’s pack of departing college seniors claims a dubious distinction: The class of 2015 is now the most indebted graduating class in history — though, if past years are any indication, the honor won’t last long. Next spring — barring any unexpected generosity from Washington or college administrations — the class of 2016 will take over the title.
Graduates this year owe an average of about $35,000 in student loan debt, according to an analysis of government data by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher at Edvisors.com, which covers planning and paying for college. That’s up from about $10,000 more than 20 years ago.”
This excessive financial burden might be rationalized if real marketable skills were taught by the institutions of higher learning. However, the painful result of attending most colleges or universities is that the student will discover that advancing their practical education skills is absent from most curriculums.
A commencement graduation has traditionally been an affirmation of the future. Is it not a sad state of affairs when an actor pulls back the curtain of the absurd condition that faces graduates?
“You made it,” actor Robert De Niro told New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduates on Friday. “And you’re f***ed.”
Take away an even more important message. Workers in general are becoming marginalized in a robotic and artificial intelligence age. Expectations of consistently maintaining meaningful employment over a lifetime is lessened and having a degree is certainly no guarantee of advancing employment worth.
Add into this backdrop the financial risks of a worldwide financial meltdown. The “so called” hiring prospects will tank with a repeat of a much more severe global depression. Just how will all those student loans get serviced under this circumstance?
Review the Negotium essay, College Education Economics for additional details on the student debt bubble.
Nevertheless, whatever the educational obligations incurred, if a graduate receives a juicy job offer, the money should be available to retire the debt. All this changed with the 2008 economic collapse.
CareerBuilder’s survey is cited in a report, Job Prospects Have Improved For 2015 College Graduates.
“What jobs do they most want to fill? Not surprising, 30 percent of hiring managers have IT jobs and 28 percent want to fill customer-service positions. Accounting and finance, sales, and business development jobs are also among the top positions available.
The biggest concern recruiters and hiring managers have when it comes to hiring grads is that they feel colleges put too much emphasis on “book learning instead of real world learning,” a sentiment expressed by 46 percent.”
Stop the presses! Deconstruct this last statement. “Real World Learning” translates into job experience. Since working at a job requires the ability to provide productive functions to run and administer a business venture, why attend a non functional academic environment that is often hostile to discovering actual business skills?
The operative word is practical. Surviving in an economy on the verge of total collapse requires an internal honesty to face up to the false promises pushed in a culture of deception and deceit.
For those who developed an authentic love and respect for tangible learning throughout their college experience, be grateful. However, for those who matriculated through an education curriculum that avoided the veracity of actual commerce, De Niro is correct.
Finding a job with corporatist conglomerates requires a Faustian Choice, which is no choice at all. Celebrate the merchant economy and stake out a lifetime journey in the real marketplace. Learn well. Earning a living has become even more difficult. Your best developed and self-achieved accomplishment is the understanding that economic survival is built upon independence, perseverance and hard work.
This essentially is the value of higher learning. A degree in economic reality is found in real life.
James Hall – June 10, 2015