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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The insanity of the American Job Market

The more and more I look at the American job Market the more I realize that American employers are crazy. Bonkers.

Only 29 percent of the people in the United States have a Bachelor’s degree.

Yet 100 percent of the jobs listings are asking for Bachelor’s degrees. Some employers are insisting that candidates have it before they apply.

Even President Obama has gotten caught up in the insanity of everyone having a college degree. He stated that over the next five years sixty percent of the new jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree.

I can’t do algebra but this math ain’t adding up regarding the job market.

So where does that leave the seventy percent of American citizens who don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree? Poverty? Starvation? Crime? Or are they just supposed to get on welfare and other government programs?

Seriously, college isn’t for everyone. And not every job should require a Bachelor’s Degree.

Most jobs aren’t as technical as employers want you to think. Seriously, what’s so complex about answering phones? Filing papers? Does a receptionist need a B.A? A Sales clerk at a store? Customer service rep? An Administrative assistant?

Some employers actually think you need a Bachelor’s Degree to do this type of work. And that it’s so technical.

If it takes that much education to operate the register at Starbucks or key in data at a computer terminal America is fucked up. No wonder so many Americans hate their jobs. The work isn’t a challenge for them.

Seriously, these jobs are not that hard. I doubt anyone needs a Bachelor’s degree for them. Even some managerial positions don’t require all that much education.

And if most jobs require a college degree then why were so many in that small number of college graduates with their Bachelor’s Degrees occupying Wall Street and other Main street throughfares throughout the country a few months ago?

Because it was next to impossible for them to find a job.

Am I making sense to anyone?

Seriously, I’m thinking American employers and even our President have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to the qualifications they require for jobs. Totally distorted.

And I’m thinking many employers who say they have jobs that can’t be filled because they’re “too technical” and they “can’t find anyone” are either have an unrealistic picture of what type of worker they need for their little jobs or they’re just too cheap to pay for on-the-job training. Nor do they want to pay competitive salaries that will attract and retain employees who will stay and learn a business.

So they use these excuses so they can hire cheaper foreign workers at a fraction of the cost. And they get what they pay for. Noncommittal employees with an apathetic attitude, low worker morale, and poor quality work.

Contrary to popular belief in America, college doesn’t prepare people for the workplace. I’ve run into some people with Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and PhDs who can’t figure out how to do the most basic of office tasks like making copies, sending a business e-mail (it’s different from the ones people send to friends) or answering a phone. Others that can’t figure out the difference between business dress and business casual. And even more who can’t come to work on time.

Besides, most people learn how to do things on-the-job regardless of whatever college degree or previous work experience they have. The way XYZ company makes widgets is totally different from the way ABC company makes widgets. While they may use the same machines, the approaches and polices for using those same machines are totally different.

It usually takes 90 to 180 days for anyone to get adjusted to the corporate culture and business policies of an organization. Another 90 to 180 days for them to get used to all of the procedures and policies of an organization.

But most American companies want people to know their businesses like the back of their hand in a month.

According to today’s American employers new employees are supposed to come straight out of college or from another job knowing exactly how their business runs. And they expect a recent college graduate to “hit the ground running” (a complete bullshit term) and be able to work in their company like they’ve been there for years.

That’s absolutely ridiculous.

The most a recent college graduate has done is an internship or two. And most of the time they’re getting coffee and making copies. If they have a project it’s not something a seasoned pro would be handling on the job. No, learning those skills come from actually working on the job.

American employers really need to wake up and stop making everything one size fits all when it comes to the qualifications for their jobs. Requiring every one in every job have a bachelor’s degree for every job is just insane. If every employee has the exact same education, how will this impact the long-term direction of a business in America?

It’d be hard for can a company to change and adapt when everyone is the same in a time of crisis like business slump. Why? Because no one knows how to be different.

And hasn’t having different types of people around with different types of experiences always been good for American business? Hasn’t that how American business remained innovative and competitive? By utilizing their most creative people who could create products that allowed the business to adapt to the changing needs of its customers?

A lot of people have different skill sets and experiences that don’t fit the norm. And employers are excluding many gifted and talented people from their talent pool because they don’t fit a narrow list of criteria that may or may not realistically fit their needs.

Just because someone didn’t spend four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a degree doesn’t mean they can’t do the job.

Sometimes innovation and creativity come outside the ivy covered walls of college, and American businesses will miss out on those new ideas from those great people because of their obsession with education from an academic institution. If I were hiring, I wouldn’t care what college someone comes from, I only care about where they’re going and where they can take my business. Throughout the history of this country the best ideas came outside of the box. 

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