Donate to Absurd Job Vacancies! Donate to Absurd Job Vacancies! Donate to Absurd Job Vacancies! Donate to Absurd Job Vacancies! Donate to Absurd Job Vacancies!


Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Federal Department of Education Considers University Studies as Producing "Non-Gainful" Employment

Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) -- an appropriate double entendre, considering what financial aid specialists do when they reach a new financial aid disbursement record -- released an opinion letter regarding the implementation of the following U.S. Department of Education gainful employment (GE) regulations approved October 29, 2010 and effective July, 2011.

The IFAP summary provides insight about how much of a waste the Department of Education tacitly considers certain tertiary education programs to be! Which programs? The breadth of this classification may surprise you!

Department of Education Defines Gainful Employment Programs

The following excerpts from those regulations speak volumes:

Excerpt 1
Non-GE Domestic Public and Domestic Nonprofit Institutions
"Programs that lead to a degree, including associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, graduate degrees, and professional degrees."

Excerpt 2
GE Program Information to Disclose
"The job placement rate for students completing the program."

Note the Department of Education is holding the privately funded or "proprietary" educational institutions to a double standard of all-encompassing GE regulations, whereas the tax-funded or "nonprofit" educational institutions get a free pass to ignore GE regulations throughout their baccalaureate and advanced degree programs (as well as for associate degrees and other courses creditable towards a four-year or higher degree).

This is an arbitrary distinction; comparable curricula, faculty, and facilities should result in comparable levels of gainful or non-gainful employment, irrespective of funding mechanism. And if you take seriously the caterwauling by public higher education administrators and nonprofit faculty, then you refuse to demand evidence that higher instructor compensation equals superior graduates; the institutional fallacy stands.

The appeal to fairness for faculty -- in a system that is inherently unfair to those who pay money to be in the presence of the same -- rests not upon absolute quality but on relative compensation in comparison to what for-profit schools pay their academic staff. Again, this logic -- that higher compensation should reasonably be expected to attract superior educators -- has weak empirical findings at best. The unsupported affirmative is the argument touted by academic staff at public universities when it comes time to whine about how they need raises "to maintain quality of education."

So by that standard, the public educator advocating for a pay increase to maintain competitiveness with his or her private-sector counterparts either feels the for-profit schools are indeed acquiring better instructors than are found among public sector peers -- or that money-grubbing public educator is disingenuously claiming impaired quality of instructors, degraded student achievements, and loss of academic reputation at his or her institution when none of those imagined injuries are perceived by interested would-be students, let alone resembling anywhere close to reality.

02-18-2014 Update:
Directly from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) client services help files maintained at, the formula used by FAA to compute comparative value of educational credentials is:

"Four years of progressive study, or 120 semester hours, meets the degree requirements. For study at a business, technical or trade school, 36 weeks of study (20+ classroom hours per week) is comparable to 1 post-secondary academic year."

Federal Aviation Administration Rules Trade School as More Impactful per Credit than University Studies

For those needing a simpler interpretation: Half a year of trade school in any vocational program is weighed as heavily by the FAA as an entire year of university studies. What does that tell you about how ill-positioned liberal arts graduates are to be employed? And it's not just the Federal Aviation Administration but also the Department of Education and IFAP saying this.

It immediately becomes clear that degree programs from a public institution WOULD NOT be considered by the Department of Education as leading to gainful employment, if the private sector standard had been applied! Why do tax-funded universities get a pass on providing job placement statistics when they are technically classified by the DoE as "leading to gainful employment" -- and why is this discrepancy ignored by the mainstream media and by educational journalists? Who's paying them off?

The higher education hucksters do, simply by manufacturing an endless supply of politically "progressive" journalism grads and sympathetic readers who will turn off their critical thinking and toe the line on political correctness just to get an internship or to fit in with their brainwashed peers. Not beholden to the university propagandists, I may very well be the first blogger to have mentioned the DoE, IFAP, and FAA all commenting on the superiority of vo-tech school as career preparation vis-à-vis university studies.

So the next time an educator or career counselor drops a factoid about "higher mean income" for college graduates, you can fire right back with the indisputable fact that the Department of Education classifies state university degree programs as "non-gainful employment" programs. The entire public -- and especially every naive youth who INFERS occupational promises from college programs which have NO JOB PLACEMENT STATISTICS -- deserves to know this.

Joseph Ohler's Affiliate Click-for-Cash Program

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Birthday Bonanza: Six Positions Analyzed from Wisconsin Jobs Board

Today is my birthday, and one of my means of celebration is to shine birthday candle light on a selection of job vacancies posted on the official jobs board of the State of Wisconsin. I applied for several positions which matched my experience very well but saw many others which inspired me to find out more.

Regular visitors will notice a bunch of posts dated "August 31st" sequentially had appeared on September second and third. I made that stylistic choice because this group of job vacancy reviews is a birthday treat for myself; I had actually found them on August 29th and sporadically wrote the reviews in multiple sittings throughout Labor Day weekend.

These writing sessions occurred whenever I had the chance because I also made incremental data backups, several new tee shirt designs, and progress on editing the ever-evolving book which is shaping up to be over thirty pages longer with my transition sentences and clarifying comments. I have my hands in so many things, it makes the Illuminati Rothschild bankers look like rank amateurs!

Because I spend the majority of my waking hours editing an acquaintance’s forthcoming book, I knew that either I’d present these right away or they’d never be published except maybe posthumously. As you witness now, I chose the “boss rush” approach of plowing through this batch of positions because I might not have the time for another month or so depending on how much buzz the book creates. I will release more details about the book when it launches to ensure our marketing campaign is consistent among promotional channels.

Although the book will undoubtedly bring royalties, sales will be a trickle until word-of-mouth sharing snowballs into a marketing force in its own right. Therefore, I applied for several jobs relevant to my experience and came across a bunch of other positions which stirred my imagination by practically begging for some clarification.

I worked through the finer points of selected governmental and university job vacancies posted by the State of Wisconsin. I felt surprised to see how many government agencies are seeking “application development tool” coders -- undoubtedly a boon for commissioned IT recruiters -- and was amazed at how each department has its own HR contact. While less efficient than a centralized system, I imagine without that organizational structure the unemployment rate for human resources personnel would be higher if not for this built-in redundancy.

We should, however, remember that a policy of decentralized business units nearly killed IBM before Lou Gerstner reined in the duplicate effort and interdepartmental chargebacks which allowed losses of one department to be disguised as revenue into another department. The state should be equally vigilant in its accounting, considering how duplication of services increases opportunities for misrepresentative accounting practices or outright fraud.

While I wrote this piece to organize my thoughts about those opportunities, others may benefit such as when discussion commences over my proposed screening exam for the entry-level “business automation” project position. I’ve also explained from my perspective what certain nebulous terms mean with the goal of reducing presumptuous jargon.

I was going to consolidate these into an omnibus post but decided atomization would be better for the following reasons:
1) Greater granularity by which to track which positions attracted more views from search traffic; and
2) Less scrolling if a reader clicks on a heading to load only one job vacancy review at a time instead of the default continuous “scroll” format of all posts on the main page.

Reviews of Six Wisconsin Government Job Vacancies on my Birthday

Financial Application Developer for Custodian of State Portfolio

Procedure Aggregator for Palooka University Lacks Screening Tool; Ohler Provides One to be Smug

Application Development Tool (ADT) Guru for Traffic Licensors

Database Interface Developer (DID) for Recalcitrant Residence Hall

Underpaid Guardian of Children at Third-Tier University; Now Featuring Wage Op-Ed

Vendor Massager for Agency of Domination, Order, and Control (DOC)

Financial Application Developer for Custodian of State Portfolio

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

Investment Board, State of Wisconsin
Business Systems Specialist
Job Announcement Code(s): 13-03289
County(ies): Dane
Classification Title: / JAC: INV BOARD NON-EXEC 13-03289
Job Working Title: Business Systems Specialist
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: not specified
Bargaining Unit: Unknown
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 9/3/2013
Deadline to apply is September 3, 2013. Resumes may be accepted after that date if the position has not been filled. Pre-employment background check is required. SWIB is an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Employer Exam Information: Exam cannot be previewed.
SWIB is seeking a Business Systems Specialist to join its Information Technology Group. The Specialist is responsible for developing and supporting SWIB custom applications, configuring third party applications, and the integrating applications. This requires the Specialist to have a deep understanding of business areas and work closely with business staff to identify technology needs, specify/improve workflows, and manage small projects.
It also requires knowledge of programming and configuration of complex applications in addition to the ability to solve complex technical problems. The incumbent will interface with business consultants and work closely with others in the IT group to ensure all applications are being integrated into the environment, adhering to standards, and properly documented. Job Duties:
• Conduct applications development and support activities including analysis, design, programming, testing, and implementation/installation of new and existing custom-developed software applications primarily utilizing Microsoft development and infrastructure technologies
• Assist in the implementation of newly-acquired third party vendor systems and/or additional modules of software products already utilized by SWIB
• Analyze systems in order implement day-to-day operational efficiencies
• Troubleshoot application problems and system failures
• Lead small projects to fix system issues or enhance systems
• Research technological trends and develop familiarity with the latest information
• Assist other IT staff to support investment and investment support teams as needed
Special Notes: SWIB Offers:
• A comprehensive benefits package
• Educational and training opportunities
• Tuition Reimbursement
• Challenging work in a professional, team environment
The position requires U.S. work authorization and current residency in, or willingness to relocate to, the Madison, Wisconsin area. SWIB is prepared to offer relocation assistance as needed. Occasional travel may be required for this position.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Candidate Qualifications
• A Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or similar degree
• Experience working in an investment setting a plus
• 1 to 3 years application development and SQL experience
• Exceptional analytical skills
• Strong communication skills
• Comfort taking initiative, being resourceful, and performing within a team environment
• Superb work ethic, attention to detail, team orientation, and commitment to excellence
• Ability to multitask and thrive in a fast-paced environment
How To Apply:
Qualified individuals interested in this opportunity should send an email with attached resume, cover letter, and salary history/requirements to:
Subject Line: Business Systems Specialist, [Your last name]

Here’s another application development position -- pretty much every position entitled “business analyst” or “business systems specialist” is a glorified application developer job. The funny thing about these positions is the duty to “identify technology needs” -- it’s not like investment fundamentals change that often, so exactly how does additional technology improve a workflow when it adds another application to be maintained?

At least in the private sector, such identification usually boils down to mimicking the latest technology trends adopted by competitors, but with just enough code modified so that you don’t violate licensing terms with a direct knockoff. Sure enough, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) seeks to reinvent the wheel for one or more software programs which do something or another with financial data; there is about as much federal regulation of financial records keeping as there is for medical records keeping.

I’m guessing the business requirements have to do with grabbing the latest municipal bond rates and other financial market information related to pensions hopefully avoiding the toxic collateralized debt obligation market rampant with underwater mortgages and then adjusting investment returns in real time based on such data. Immediate data on market changes doesn’t really help long-term-only investors who maybe check their portfolios once a year because they understand short-term fluctuations can motivate panicked disinvestment.

However, SWIB and other institutional investors have enough liquidity to partake in massive day trades through which a small percentage change in value equates to thousands of dollars across all shares of a stock. Changes to municipal credit ratings also motivate bond dumping with the goal to free cash for other holdings. Anyone from SWIB is welcome to clarify in the comment section!

Procedure Aggregator for Palooka University Lacks Screening Tool; Ohler Provides One to be Smug

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

IS Business Automation - Analyst (PROJECT)
Job Announcement Code(s): 13-03398
County(ies): Milwaukee
Classification Title: / JAC: IS BUSINESS AUTOMATION ANALYST 13-03398
Job Working Title: IS Business Automation - Analyst (PROJECT)
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: This position is in the pay schedule and range 07-04. The range for this position is $17.072 to $28.169 per hour, plus a generous benefits package.
Contact: Gina Eder, HR Specialist, 414-229-6876,
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 8/30/2013
Exam Information: 13661 - 150 ***PROJECT ***
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is currently seeking to fill a full-time PROJECT vacancy for an IS Business Automation-Analyst in the Administration Office within the College of Letters and Science. The initial expected duration of this appointment is one (1) year.
UWM, a doctoral/research intensive university, is Wisconsin's premier public urban university, offering a comprehensive liberal arts and professional education at the undergraduate and graduate level to its 30,000 students. UWM takes pride in being a student-centered institution that is deeply committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, staff, and programs. UWM, a 104-acre campus, is located on Milwaukee's upper east side in one of the city's most attractive residential areas. For more information, please visit
Job Duties: Under the limited supervision of the College’s Assistant Dean of Curriculum, Governance and Assessment, and working in close concert with the Dean’s Office and the College’s other professional staff members, the incumbent will be primarily responsible for collecting and analyzing established policies and procedures of the College of Letters and Science as it relates to the College’s curriculum, schedule, and course catalog in order to identify ways in which they may better utilize IS resources and support technology; coordinating the College’s effort to digitize historical documents; and performing various other duties as assigned.
Special Notes: This position will require a criminal records review. A pending charge or conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, the University does not discriminate on the basis of arrest or conviction record. For information relating to the campus security report for UWM, please visit Pursuant to Wis. Stat. Chapter 230.27(1m)(a), persons appointed to project positions within the State Classified Service must be residents of the State of Wisconsin. This position is a Project appointment and as such does not provide for the attainment of permanent status per s.ER-MRS 1.02(25), Wis. Admin. Code.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Qualified candidates will have knowledge of Windows and/or Macintosh-Operating system; knowledge of and experience with desktop publishing and multimedia software (e.g., Microsoft Publisher, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Presenter, Camtasia, etc.); knowledge of computer concepts and technologies; and knowledge of Microsoft Office and other commonly used productivity software. Qualified candidates will possess exceptional organizational skills, independent judgment, and initiative as well as possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, including phone etiquette.
Furthermore, qualified candidates will have the ability to demonstrate a high level of integrity and professionalism; the ability to work with a diverse group of individuals; and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects to ensure timely completion of work. Candidates must also be able to provide courteous customer service to internal and external clientele.
How To Apply: You will apply online at this website. You will create an account, complete an initial application, upload your resume, and confirm your Wisconsin residency. If you have any questions about the online application process, please contact Gina Eder at The deadline to apply is Friday, August 30th, 2013.
Preview Exam
1. Residency
Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 230.27(1m)(a) states " appointing authority is prohibited from appointing a person who is not a resident of this state to a project position..."
Are you a resident of the State of Wisconsin? (Yes | No)

Like other positions recently posted, this vacancy is a so-called "information systems (IS) business automation analyst." Unlike the other identically named positions, this opportunity does not require a lick of actual code to be written, only a general description of what code someone else should write.

The fact that UWM has enough money to dedicate a project position to a glorified go-between -- instead of having a junior software developer liaise to gather business requirements and begin code mockups right away -- is a symptom of the too-many students who are pursuing university studies as part of their grandiose plan instead of sensibly enrolling in vocational school.

I say "grandiose" because many students enter programs which lack a formal internship program (not me; I entered a program offering internships but still couldn't get one) and think they'll succeed anyway. To tweak a meme (Idea + ??? = $$$) from a well-known animated social parody show, the thought process of such students tends to be:

University Studies >> 'College Student' Work >> ??? >> Professional Employment (university student fantasy)

But the outcome is:
University Studies >> 'College Student' Work >> Graduate; Laid Off >> Unemployment; Menial Labor (university student reality)

The uploader of this job vacancy is going to have a lot of visual scanning to do among applicants because the only question used to screen applicants for initial consideration is whether s/he lives in Wisconsin. Considering the other IT-related, Wisconsin taxpayer-funded positions which had their deadlines extended, I wouldn’t be surprised if this position was also re-posted due to a dearth of applicants who passed the HR manager’s vetting.

Why in the world wouldn’t human resources devise a more thorough civil service exam by which to rank and potentially disqualify applicants to save the manager time in the long run? Here’s my go at immediately designing such a screening mechanism:

1) Explain your professional experience in cold calling departmental and functional managers as well as agency heads for information-gathering purposes as part of an organization.

2) Explain your professional experience in utilizing desktop publishing and multimedia production software to create presentations for internal and general audiences.

3) Explain your professional experience in time management and utilizing independent judgment to triage urgent tasks and to manage conflicting priorities while meeting strict deadlines.

I won’t ask for a “thank you” because I presume such humbling via unsolicited advice is met with silence in a manner such similar to how a UWM loading dock worker generally avoids empathy. You’re welcome, State of Wisconsin -- you’re welcome!

As for UWM, I’m not applying to any of its job positions because I cannot tolerate the campus or the City of Milwaukee in general; UW-Milwaukee can stay mediocre until it merges with UW-Waukesha to meet enrollment targets!

Application Development Tool (ADT) Guru for Traffic Licensors

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

Transportation, Department of IS Systems Development Services Specialist - Applications Development Tools - Re-Announcement - Job Announcement Code(s): 13-01647
County(ies): Dane
Classification Title: / JAC: IS SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT SRVCS SPC 13-01647
Job Working Title: IS Systems Development Services Specialist
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: Starting salary is between $54,331 and $99,426, depending on qualifications. This position is in pay schedule-range 07-02. A six month probationary period may be required.
Contact: Megan Robarge, HR Specialist: or 608.267.4471
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 9/9/2013
The previous deadline date was 7/29/2013.
Exam Information: 13373 - 192 IS SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT SRVCS SPC
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking for a person who loves solving problems and implementing solutions to fill our Applications Development Tools: IS Systems Development Services Specialist vacancy in the Bureau of Information Technology Services. If you love to design, configure, and manage applications and tools, this position may be great for you! This position will work on several small teams with a variety of projects and industries – from finance to transportation and everything in between.
This position is located at the Hill Farms building in Madison, Wisconsin – within walking distance to many restaurants and shopping.
Job Duties:
This position will provide technical expertise to professional IS developers, technical support specialists, and end users on optimal usage of ADT tools and methodologies, as well as advanced problem resolution support and diagnosis. This position will review and verify the technical feasibility and integration of new tools and methodologies. As the Applications Development Tools Specialist, this position will plan, implement, and maintain new development technologies, initiatives, and services in the Department of Transportation environments and its multi-jurisdictional business partners.
Application technologies and methodologies included, but not limited to, are: Maven, Subversion, Jenkins, Nexus, My Eclipse Blue, .Net, Java, Visual Basic, MS Visual Studio, Struts, Hibernate, C#, XML, Stylus Studio, SOLR, JavaDcompiler, ChangeMan, Cobol, and JCL.
Special Notes:
Prior to any appointment for positions filled from this recruitment/announcement, candidates may be subject to a comprehensive criminal background check which may include FBI fingerprinting.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
   * Knowledge of Application Development Tools facilities and methodologies
   * Skill in problem resolution and technical support technologies
   * Knowledge of the evaluation and implementation of Application Development systems
   * Knowledge of installing, configuring, and troubleshooting corporate Application Development sets.
   * Ability to plan and research solutions for an integrated architecture
How To Apply:
Apply online with a resume and letter of interest which fully details your experience as it relates to the duties and knowledge/skills/abilities of this position. Materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process. To apply for this position, click “Log In” to access your existing account or to create a new account if you don’t have an account in the system. Once you are logged in, click “Apply Now.” You will be asked to provide your personal information, attach a resume and upload a letter of interest. Questions can be directed to Megan Robarge at or 608.267.4471.
Preview Exam
1. Please copy and paste your letter of interest below. Your letter of interest should clearly identify your education, training and/or work experience in:
  : :* Designing, testing and/or implementing application development tools and methodologies for multiple platforms
   * Analyzing, defining and identifying application development tools support requirements
   * Installing application development tools
   * Maintaining and supporting application development tools
   * Working with a variety of customers on IT development projects


A potentially humorous note is how the vacancy description begins with, “(We’re) looking for a person who loves solving problems and implementing solutions…” Of course, in May 2012 I created and uploaded a video entitled “The Employee for the 21st Century” which satirizes the techno-business jargon prolifically polluting modern job descriptions. The gimmick had its run, but apparently consulting BS -- Bachelor's of Science, mind you -- is like actual excrement in that it smells best when it's your own.

The job poster may as well excise that position’s feel-good introductory statement because it is worthless; enjoying “solving problems and implementing solutions” doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have that technological swing, namely prior experience designing for a specified stack of technologies and implementing your so-called “proprietary development tool.”

Throughout the vacancy description, references to “application development tools” abound. What are these and why does the position seem to hinge on them? For that matter, why do so many job postings require skill in using such a product when a search for "application development tool"+definition returns zero results?

This obviously is an opportunity for me to dominate that keyword combination in the relevant SERPs. Without further ado, here is my definition:
An Application Development Tool (ADT) is any software which converts user actions (typing, clicking, dragging-and-dropping, etc.) into an executable program or application.

This definition includes Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) which combine a code input window with a graphical preview pane of code output. Organizations occasionally want an ADT with features which differ from available Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) ADTs.

For example, an ADT developer might modify the graphical user interface (GUI) of an IDE to include an additional meta tags field for making uploaded changes searchable by keyword or username. While some effort is inevitably duplicated among organizations developing their own custom ADTs, the extent of redundancy is unknown because companies, governments, and nonprofits generally do not want to license ADTs from each other -- those cheapskates!

A person from outside formal employment within the Information Technology (IT) field is increasingly barraged with IT jargon in business-oriented job descriptions. Besides my definition of “application development tool” articulated above, another opportunity I take for dominating search engines is to provide the first online solution for those entering the string "enterprise website developer"+definition.

In my years of real-world learning, I’ve come to realize the following two definitions create a major distinction between what I call a “website pseudo-developer” and what human resources managers refer to as an “enterprise website developer:”
1) The Website Pseudo-Developer (WPD) modifies and/or develops the website based on pre-designed ADTs; whereas
2) The Enterprise Website Developer (EWB) modifies and/or designs and develops ADTs by which non-IT people in the firm can upload changes to selected portions of the website (depending on authorization).

In the interest of provoking dialogue, I’ll loosely quote a certain nu-metal band: Any “wanna-be bigtime players” who want to “step up to me” and dispute my above explanations are welcome to comment at the bottom of this article -- but I can tell you know, “It’s not to be.”

Some may note the deadline extension from July 29 up through September 9 and wrongfully conclude, like the globalists, that we need to both send millions more students to universities (just to get maybe a few hundred qualified workers while the rest are no better off) and that we need to exempt the State of Wisconsin from having residency requirements for hiring people for these difficult-to-fill jobs (and thereby shortchange Wisconsin residents who have loads of education).

The graduation of at least 25% more university graduates than what is needed domestically dispels the “more graduates means better resource allocation” fallacy. The substantial surplus of highly educated labor makes it more difficult for a state’s own residents to obtain employment -- such as by opening the floodgates to non-residents to compete against the current state population -- is insultingly disloyal no matter how much “benefit” would allegedly be gained through marginally “better productivity” from non-resident workers.

By thus reducing unemployment in other countries by importing labor while maintaining unemployment among current citizens of your own country, you destroy a nation and betray your country like a treasoner -- yes, globalists who import talent instead of train domestic workers ARE unpatriotic, if *not technically* treasoners.

I could say much more about globalists but have other projects on the table. The main takeaway point of this post is, “Don’t trust a globalist because he or she doesn’t have your interests at heart, only plans for whatever placates the Board of Directors.”

Database Interface Developer (DID) for Recalcitrant Residence Hall

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

UW Platteville
IS Business Automation Analyst - Re-Announcement
Job Announcement Code(s): 13-02252
County(ies): Grant
Classification Title: / JAC: IS BUSINESS AUTOMATION ANALYST 13-02252
Job Working Title: IS Business Automation Analyst
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: Salary range is $17.072-$24.000 per hour plus a fringe benefits package. This position is in schedule/range 07-04. A six month probationary period is required.
Contact: Christine Buswell, HR Manager, 608-342-1176,
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 9/2/2013
The previous publication date was June 7, 2013. The previous deadline date was June 22, 2013.
Exam Information: 13661 - 028 IS BUSINESS AUTOMATION ANALYST
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville, located in southwest Wisconsin, is currently recruiting to fill an IS Business Automation Analyst position in Department of Residence Life.
Job Duties: This position will serve as the functional analyst for Residence Life and is responsible for the overall development, implementation, testing, updates, maintenance and documentation of administrative systems and software. Working knowledge of integrated database software and querying tools. This position will work extensively within the PeopleSoft environment.
Special Notes: In compliance with the Clery Act of 1998, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Crime Statistics Report is available at Call the UW-Platteville Campus Police Office at 608-342-1584 for a paper copy of the annual report. Employment will require a criminal background check.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Knowledge of research, development, maintenance and integration of information system applications; web-based applications; and relational databases. Ability to create complex spreadsheets, word processing and database applications.
How To Apply: Apply online in WiscJobs, Click on "Log In" to access your existing WiscJobs account and complete a Job Search for key word 1302252 and click on "Apply Now" at the top or bottom of the screen. Applicants new to WiscJobs will need to create an account to complete an initial application then continue to apply online. All interested applicants will be required to apply and take the exam online, including those current State employees eligible to transfer, reinstate, or demote to this position.
A resume is required to apply for this position. Follow the prompts to create a resume or to upload an existing resume and then click 'Continue'. You will be taken to the first page of the exam. Follow the exam instructions and click 'Save & Continue' at the bottom of every page.
We suggest that you prepare your response in a word processing document first to ensure your response does not exceed the specified page limit and to ensure it is not lost in the event of a WiscJobs system time-out. WiscJobs will time out after 20 minutes if the page you are working on has not been completed and saved and the answers on that page will need to be re-entered. This will not affect your answers on the previous page(s). If you exit the exam and re-enter later to update your answers, you will need to save each page and finalize or your answers may not be recorded.
Application and examination materials must be completed and finalized online by Monday, September 2, 2013. After you have finalized your exam, you will be sent an email by the system confirming that your exam has been completed. If you need assistance with the application process, contact Christine Buswell at (608) 342-1176 or
Preview Exam
1. Please describe your knowledge and experience with developing and/or designing queries to extract information from a database environment. Include information on the type of database and query tools that you have used.
2. Please describe the types of written and oral interpersonal skills you have used on a regular basis in a professional environment. In particular, explain how you would communicate differently to non-technical, functional users and colleagues in a more technical position.
3. Please describe your knowledge and experience with relational database systems. Indicate the type of relational database and provide an example(s) of how you learned the system(s), and any testing of the system you participated in.
4. Describe a project you worked on that included the use of advanced functionality in Microsoft Office Suite. Give examples of how you have used the various tools and applications.

According to the vacancy description, UW-Platteville needs to update its PeopleSoft portal to be used differently by residence hall staff. The position could be more accurately titled “Database Interface Developer (DID)” due to the processing of office productivity file contents into a set of relational tables; it was trendy from 2005 until 2010 to call that data manipulation “Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL).”

Because online employee databases such as PeopleSoft tend to be centrally licensed and administered to reduce overhead, it is unusual for a smaller university such as UW-Platteville to hire a dedicated database developer-administrator for a single department. It is profligate spending on positions of questionable need such as this which inspire me to wonder how the UW System accrued over a billion dollars in reserve funds. It’s not like tuition has risen to the heights where it needs to be for enrollment to drop to more realistic levels by which the extensive surplus of university graduates may finally dip to approach the actual labor market’s relatively low demand for such graduates.

Remember that most programs within the tax-vacuuming UW System -- including the sacred cow and GPR hog UW-Madison -- produce quantity over quality, as reflected by over 25% percent of graduates being unable to secure so much as under-employment, let alone full-time professional employment, within one year after graduation. Telling those grads to “work early, work often” doesn’t help when they’ve been sending resumes and networking for a long time; the remedy is trade school.

This job vacancy continues a string of sightings for very particular IT experience which led me to the following conclusion: A trend common to public and private positions alike has been -- and continues to be -- an emphasis on experience with online databases and the interfaces for accessing and manipulating them. University chancellors, school deans, departmental chairs, and even student government leaders should create positions which involve hands-on use of databases other than library catalogs or Internet search engines. Technically, these are indices and not databases!

Employers nitpick over that, but distinction matters; it sometimes seems not only academia but also university administrators and program heads labor under the wrong assumptions about what really makes a program stand out as a “feeder program” for the best employers. Not one outside the professors themselves actually cares or notices which university publishes the most articles in a given field: It’s all about the professional job placement rate of graduates, baby!

As with other ADT-related vacancies mentioned on the state jobs board, the deadline to apply had been extended, but this speaks more to the high bar set by state regulations for that grade of employment rather than to a non-existent paucity of Information Systems graduates -- and if they’re graduating unqualified, even from the so-called “flagship” UW-Madison, then why in the Hell aren’t universities making more internship partnerships?

Collegiate Carrie or Graduate Gary isn’t going to receive the time of day from people with authority to make corporate or government internships, so it’s up to university administrators to wield their influence for the greater good. Or are they equally stymied in talks with the real power brokers in the job market?

University officials are welcome to defend themselves in the comment section. A lack of stated defense means they admit indefensibility and/or don’t care; neither situation is acceptable!

Underpaid Guardian of Children at Third-Tier University; Now Featuring Wage Op-Ed

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

Lead Teacher - LTE
Job Announcement Code(s): 13-02954
County(ies): Walworth
Classification Title: / JAC: TEACHER 13-02954
Job Working Title: Lead Teacher - LTE
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: The starting salary is $15.469 per hour, (sic; the comma should be a semicolon) there are no benefits or paid time off with this position.
Contact: Stephanie Hartmann, Human Resources Assistant, 262-472-1397,
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 9/4/2013
Exam Information: Exam cannot be previewed.
University of Wisconsin Whitewater Children’s Center invites applicants for a forty hour weekly position beginning August 5, 2013. This limited term employment position is responsible to provide care for children in a child-initiated learning environment working with children beginning at three months of age up to three years of age. This includes providing general supervision and management for a classroom of children and supervision of student employees along with students and visitors in the classroom for observation, research and practicum experiences. Lead Teacher plans and facilitates developmental activities as part of a comprehensive program for children's physical, cognitive, emotional and social growth, so children can reach their highest potential.
Job Duties
1. Programming Responsibilities
  1. Plan and facilitate a daily program of care and activities for the assigned classroom.
  2. Contribute to the effective operation of the overall childcare program.
  3. Develop and implement daily/weekly activity plans using a child initiated emergent curriculum influenced by a Reggio Inspired Philosophy.
  4. Responsible for the arrangement of space, setting, and materials in the classroom and with outdoor play equipment, to ensure a safe clean, orderly child centered learning environment, and consistent daily schedule for children's calm, comfortable and successful participation in the program.
  5. Individualizes programming according to children's interests and developmental goals.
  6. Document and assess the children’s individual progress and the progress of the group as a whole using the Teaching Strategies GOLD Online Tool, Documentation Panels, Individual and Classroom Portfolios, using Authentic Assessment with Photographs, Videos, Work Samples and Anecdotal Notes.
  7. Develop and maintain an NAEYC classroom portfolio for the classroom.
  8. Hold Formal Family-Teacher Conferences once a semester and provide informal communication opportunities for families.
  9. Create Weekly Family Newsletters and maintain a Family Resource Board in the classroom.
  10. Establish an Open Door Policy with Families that offers daily verbal and/or written feedback for families on their children’s progress and encourages family participation in the educational process.
  11. Promote a multicultural and anti-bias approach to learning and to the center environment.
  12. Show respect for each child’s culture and background and their personal uniqueness.
  13. Collaborate with Center Director and University Faculty and staff in the supervision and training of Student Teachers. Monitor student teachers progress in all areas of their performance.
  14. Regularly support and encourage family participation in center activities.
  15. Establish and maintain developmentally appropriate, safe and nurturing learning environment according to program educational philosophy.
  16. Oversee housekeeping procedures within the classroom and in common areas as assigned.
  17. Monitor center sanitation procedures and promptly report any maintenance concerns to the Director.
2. Administrative Responsibilities
  1. Maintain regular communication with parents/guardians, teacher assistants, volunteers, student teachers and the Children’s Center Director.
  2. Observe and share information regarding child’s activities and experiences with parent/guardian.
  3. Notify the Director of the Children Center classroom supplies and needs.
  4. Practice emergency evacuation procedures monthly and maintain Fire and Safety checklist.
  5. Assist with record keeping, respond to inquiries directed to the Center, and perform other administrative and programmatic duties as assigned.
  6. Assist in center compliance with all regulatory requirements, including child care licensing requirements, USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program regulations, NAEYC accreditation standards and University policies.
  7. Participate in, and prepare for classroom and center staff meetings, family meetings, family conferences or center promotional activities, and Student Affairs Division events as necessary or assigned.
  8. Arrange for own substitute whenever possible and arrange for Teacher Assistant substitutes when needed.
  9. In collaboration with other Center staff and in accordance with established and agreed upon schedules, provide program lead teacher coverage as needed.
3. Supervisory Responsibilities
  1. Model and supervise for all Teacher Assistants, Student Teachers and volunteers assigned to their classroom, in collaboration with the Director. The Lead Teacher plans for the ongoing development and training of all student employees, volunteers of the Children's Center.
  2. Monitors assisting staff progress in all areas of their progress in all areas of their performance. (Evaluate in writing each semester.)
  3. Supervise one to two student teachers each semester.
  4. Assist with evaluation of classroom staff, including Teacher Assistants, Student Teachers and volunteers.
  5. Act as liaison with sponsoring faculty/staff members from the university, student teacher replacement supervisor’s volunteer agencies, and job coaches.
  6. Coordinate team-planning meetings as needed.
4. General Responsibilities
  1. Ensure the safety and physical well being of the children.
  2. Coordinate snack-planning, preparation and clean up in accordance with state licensing guidelines.
  3. Provide recommendations and referrals of children with special needs.
  4. Develop and implement parent/guardian volunteer experiences.
  5. Attend parent or childcare committee meetings as needed.
  6. Maintain a professional working atmosphere and confidentiality of information in relation to staff, children and families.
  7. Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Director of the Children’s Center.
  8. Participate in Division of Student Affairs and University comities and programs when appropriate.
Supervision Received : On-site supervision is received from the Children's Center Director.
Supervision Exercised: The Lead Teacher both models for and supervises all Teacher Assistants, Student Teachers and volunteers assigned to their classroom in collaboration with the Director and participating University Faculty and staff. The Lead Teacher plans for the ongoing development and training of all student employees, volunteers and student teachers of the Children's Center. Supervises one to two student teachers each semester.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Minimum Qualifications
A Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and / or Elementary Education with teaching experience in an NAEYC accredited play-based developmentally appropriate preschool program. A Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development, Psychology or other human service related field with 33 or more semester based credit hours in Early Childhood Development or Education will also be accepted.
Experience working with children under three in a classroom setting. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with children, family and staff, and to provide leadership within a team-teaching model. Trained in blood borne pathogens, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and certified in infant/child CPR & First Aid. Meets requirements of Wisconsin Licensing Rules for Group Daycare Centers (HFS 46) for physical exam and criminal background check. Ability to lift up to 40 pounds.
How To Apply: Please send cover letter, resume and unofficial transcripts to:
Holly McFaul
Children’s Center
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
800 West Main Street, Roseman 1006
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 472-1767

Those are many duties and qualifications for someone to be paid only $15 an hour without benefits! That is only slightly better compensation some higher-end student jobs, which in the UW System are capped at $13.50 an hour without benefits and have a hard limit of 30 hours weekly scheduled hours -- to discourage people from enrolling in university to get a full-time job and earning more per semester than they pay in tuition, God forbid.

I have to wonder about the value judgments made by the State of Wisconsin in paying $17 to over $28 hourly for someone to figure out new ways of spending money on electronic communications technology, as in the “business automation analyst” position below, yet allocating a mere $15 for each taxing hour spent stuck with a bunch of kids and the concomitant liability.

That compensation is low for someone who has supervisory duties and reports directly to the center’s director; a comparable rung in the corporate ladder -- just below C-level -- would command at least three times the pay and an A-to-Z benefits package. The person who takes the job at least appears to truly love children!

The lead daycare center teacher isn’t a glorified babysitter; s/he must adhere to an obscure licensed teaching system and needs certification in a bunch of medical training which goes beyond standard first aid. Plus, the incumbent “plans for the ongoing development and training of all student employees [and] volunteers of the center” -- thereby making him or her capable of enabling or impeding multiple students’ path to successful post-graduate employment.

Although getting paid a lot doesn’t necessarily correlate with helping students secure internships -- as shown by public administration internship directors such as Dennis Hatch with his ego wall of ten thousand or so awards and plaques -- it does send the message that society believes your work is valued and has merit. And unlike parents or relatives who perform unpaid childcare, daycare center teachers must evenhandedly protect and keep busy dozens of strangers’ children, each having a personal history and early familial values largely uncontrollable by the daycare.

You therefore have a person responsible for the safety, welfare, and cognitive development of up to sixty children a day -- while professors and other high-paid UW-Whitewater employees punch the clock -- and the pay is between 13% and 53% less than some person receives to brainstorm new ways to blow money on IT stuff.

The latter category of expenditures usually involves changing to the fifth new instant messaging interface in twelve years or nesting user command buttons farther into the interface menus to “stay competitive” -- as if there weren’t enough IT activities to manage! These are only a few examples of what IT departments spend on to justify their budgets when everything is working fine.

Rather than further bloat the tech bubble, how about we bring greater fairness to the sometimes irrational market? “But each market is rational by definition!” No, the market is often irrational because buyers and sellers irrationally discount externalities such as communicating unintended social messages and are limited in what they can focus on at a given time.

This is why we witness pay discrepancies for duties which are more or less equally important when you account for the external consequences unto others for NOT rewarding necessary but socially unrewarding behavior such as doing the best you can to raise others’ children entrusted to you. And speaking of discrepancies, the stated application deadlines are contradictory: August 5 versus September 4. Because the vacancy remained open when I had found it on August 29, the true deadline was evidently the latter.

So what can be done? We hear how overpowered teachers’ unions bankrupt school districts, but a very weak union would by its mere existence prevent arbitrary “at will” dismissal from one’s job and bestow at least some benefits. Such a minimalist union would also remain limited in coercive bargaining power within Wisconsin due to Act 10 of 2011 and by the geographic dispersion of daycare teachers: One lead and two junior teachers per daycare up for a midsize university such as UW-Whitewater means only twenty or so substitutes would be needed to break a strike within a county.

Also, daycare centers are not subject to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 -- itself a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act -- or to other standardized testing requirements. This means daycare teachers do not present the dilemma of unaccountable instructional underperformance; they are caretakers and activity coordinators but do not assign homework or administer exams. The reason for this boils down to the question: Can you imagine evaluating “child-initiated, play-based learning” against a standard?

Vendor Massager for Agency of Domination, Order, and Control (DOC)

Found on 08-29-2013 at URL:

Corrections, Department of
Contracts Specialist-Advanced DCC
Job Announcement Code(s): 13-03375
County(ies): Dane
Classification Title: / JAC: CONTRACTS SPECIALIST - ADVANCED 13-03375
Job Working Title: Contracts Specialist-Advanced DCC
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Salary: The starting pay is between $46,451 and $76,646 per year depending on qualifications and in accordance with the state compensation plan. The pay schedule/range is 07-03. A six-month probationary period will be required.
Contact: Jan Zadra, Human Resources Specialist, 608-240-5516,
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: 9/6/2013
Exams must be saved and finalized by 11:59 pm on the deadline date.
Exam Information: 04373 - Contracts Specialist - Advanced DCC
The Department of Corrections administers Wisconsin’s state prisons, community correctional centers, and juvenile corrections programs. It supervises the custody and discipline of all prisoners in order to protect the public and seeks to rehabilitate offenders and reintegrate them into society.
The Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections has a vacancy in Madison (Dane County #13).
Job Duties: This position is responsible for the planning, development, and management of a comprehensive evidence based Division-wide and Cross-Divisional Purchase of Service (POS) program. This position works with Division of Community Corrections (DCC) Regional Program and Policy Analysts statewide to provide program planning at a Regional level, information, and POS technical assistance to the Department. This position is responsible for administering a centrally planned and maintained POS system, providing a seamless flow of services to offenders. This position exercises significant discretion and judgment in the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities through the interpretation of state statutes, administrative rules, Department of Administration purchasing policies and research of evidence based practices and programs. This position provides POS information, audits, and training to DCC staff.
Special Notes:
Applicants must be legally entitled to work in the United States (i.e., a citizen or national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, an alien authorized to work in the U.S. without DOC sponsorship) at the time of application. The Department of Corrections will conduct criminal background checks on applicants prior to selection. Upon hire, all new DOC employees are subject to fingerprinting.
Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration in creating and maintaining evidence based programs that target offender criminogenic needs and provide stabilization services; principles of management and data analysis; effective planning principles, practices, and techniques; community programs, program organizations, service provider organizations, and professional organizations for correctional clients; Purchase of Service process and procedures; laws, rules, regulations, and standardized procedures pertaining to the State of Wisconsin purchasing; time management skills, ability to manage multiple complex activities and projects simultaneously, and the ability to prioritize workload; methods for identifying available resources; techniques for effective oral and written communication; program and policy development and implementation and knowledge and experience using computer tools such as Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook, Access)
How To Apply:
Apply on-line in WISCJOBS, by either clicking on "Log In" to access your existing WISCJOBS account and completing a Job Search for keyword 1303375 and clicking on "Apply Now" or applicants new to WISCJOBS will need to create a new account to complete an initial application then apply on-line.
It is recommended that you create your exam answers first in a Word document, then cut and paste to the WISCJOBS exam. WISCJOBS will time out after 20 minutes if your answer has not been saved, then the answer will need to be re-entered.
When you are finished with each page of the exam, click the "Save and Continue" button (bottom of the screen) to save your answers. When you are finished with the exam, click the "Save and Finalize" button and at the exam summary window click the "Finalize" button. If you return later to update your exam you must Finalize again or your exam may not be considered. If you provided an e-mail address when you created your WISCJOBS account, you will be sent an e-mail by the system confirming that the exam process has been completed. This information will also appear in your WISCJOBS job cart.
Preview Exam
1. This position is responsible for the planning, development and management of a comprehensive evidence based Division-wide and Cross-Divisional Purchase of Service Program and requires significant experience in and knowledge of state purchase of service policies and procedures. Please describe your role, education, training and experience specific to the following areas:
  1. Purchase of evidence based programs and services
  2. Developing bids and proposals
  3. Negotiating contracts
  4. Contract administration
  5. Procurement policies and procedures
2. This position is responsible for the development coordination, maintenance and projections of the Purchase of Service budget for the Division of Community Corrections. Please describe your education, training and experience, including your specific role and budget amounts, in the following:
  1. Budget Development
  2. Budget tracking, including use and type of budget tracking systems
  3. Budget projections
  4. Budget analysis
3. This position requires the completion of a variety of tasks and projects within strict timeframes, as well as developing partnerships and maintaining effective working relationships including solving complex issues and problems with a wide variety of individuals and agencies, including corrections staff, vendors, community stakeholders and other state agencies.
Please describe your experience and level of responsibility in working with a variety of individuals, community stakeholders and other agencies. Include in your response a specific example of how you were able to manage multiple duties/tasks within stated timeframes and the outcome of your interactions with other entities. Also include your experience working on workgroups, committees or boards.

The contract specialist needs to find the cheapest effective vendors of prison, jail, and community supervision center supplies as well as contracting out certain probation/parole duties such as AODA and psychiatric counseling. Most of this boils down to getting promised prices and deliverables in writing and checking the fine print for exclusions prior to signing a service agreement.

You don’t really need to market the DOC as a buyer because relevant providers are already tripping over each other to score that cushy penal system contract. Therefore, I spend the rest of this article dressing down certain phrases in the job description.

The whole concept of “providing services to inmates” is rather paternalistic because aside from the minority of prisoners who commit crimes primarily to obtain taxpayer-funded food, clothing, and shelter, the imprisonment or invasive supervision under 35+ probation/parole rules being referred to as “serving” the one thus constrained is like saying someone is “served” at a DMV line: The clients don’t want to be there, and most workers involved are doing it because they enjoy job security and/or tormenting others.

Did you notice how the job description calls for “effective oral and written communication” but not for “excellent” or “professional” communication? That’s because explosive Type 2 personalities are common among corrections workers. The DOC is lucky their overweight probation/parole agents don’t get heart attacks from some of their outbursts towards the people they supervise, lest the employees end up having to see the doc. I’ve witnessed situations where agency employees lost their temper and had outbursts.

“Outbursts?” Yes, I’m talking about obscenity-laced provocations uttered by “community supervision” agents to goad their supervised into verbally retaliating in one-on-one meetings, often within earshot of another agent in a neighboring office or outright in public such as when I witnessed what I now tell you. It apparently is permissible for a community supervision agent to utter while on the job, “I’m not going to take your [expletive] [expletive]!” (The guy they the agent and the cops were leading out of the car just looked ahead and didn’t appear to say anything, but I was passing by on the sidewalk adjacent to the community building parking lot; multiple organizations shared the complex.)

Does anyone else reading this feel such conduct should be off-limits for state officials? I highly doubt that swearing at an ex-con will alleviate “crimonogenic” tendencies; I feel it is actually a baiting tactic to push buttons and maybe get an impulsive disorderly conduct-like response to trigger a parole violation and more prison time. The parole agent thereby becomes the instigator or the “crimogen!” What do others think?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Things Which Every College Student Should Bring to Campus

I haven't posted in over a month because my offline life has been very busy. An up-and-coming author chose me as his line editor, so my responsibilities in that position supersede any personal projects I had on the table. While I cannot share additional details until we register the copyright of the book, there will be a big release media blitz for when it hits shelves.

Another forthcoming project of mine is an empirical thesis why a trade school degree or certificate has become a more reliable occupational investment than the vast majority of university studies. This entails market saturation and a misconception among the public of what politicians and employers mean when they say, "More college is necessary."

It turns out that choosing the right program -- usually a vocational track of studies like your non-AP friends did in high school -- is far more important than the number of years you spend in a classroom. The proper type of education by category, what I refer to as the "nominal quality by field," trumps the quantity of education every day of the week.

That is an executive summary of my report, and I continue to find figures which elevate the analysis. I hate emotional appeals; that is one of the reasons why I would never succeed in sales. I get more satisfaction in presenting a bevy of supporting facts to buttress my argument and to potentially refute the opposition. Nonetheless, I must finish editing my client's book before returning to that project; I'm writing this on a re-charge break so I can return to the task with a fresh mind.

I'm posting today to immediately make a difference. I hereby present:

Five Things Which Every College Student
Should Bring to Campus

  1. Social Security card

    You apply for jobs in hopes of getting a foot in the door -- preferably an internship -- but a campus job will suffice until you can get something more useful. (Campus jobs, like internships, end when you graduate. There's no job security or unemployment insurance.) Whether for internships or for wage slave jobs open to the non-student, a Social Security card is necessary to verify your identity.

    One of the most embarrassing things to happen after being told you're hired is to tell the manager you don't have your Social Security card; in that case, your job goes to someone else, and you'll probably be ignored in subsequent years of job applications to that department.

    No Social Security Card = No Job

    Although some illegal immigrants are enrolled in university, I would expect university HR managers and department supervisors to exercise the same vigilance on documentation-based gatekeeping for those individuals as they do for clearly non-immigrant candidates whom they interview -- to do otherwise would be racist or at least ethnocentric.

  2. Voided check

    Unless you're in the United States illegally, you probably have a bank account capable of receiving Direct Deposit® payments. Bring your checkbook or at least a few checks so that you can write "VOID" on one for verification of your checking account. Otherwise, you'll have to pick up your paycheck every two weeks in person from the Bursar's Office if you work on campus or wait a few days after your actual pay day for your non-campus employer's mailed check to arrive.

  3. Suit and dress shoes

    Any job worth its salt will require professional dress. Be sure to bring your very best attire in case you manage to secure an interview for such a position! This encompasses pretty much all internships and most positions where you're not doing manual labor or coding out of a closet.

  4. Digital camera

    Your college days won't last forever -- even if you go part-time or consciously try to stretch the experience for as long as possible. (It is generally a terrible idea to take longer than eight semesters for a degree -- including summer semesters! Instead: get in, get some internships, and get out!)

    No matter how quickly or slowly you progress through your studies, you'll meet a ton of people. Have your camera ready to capture those moments and to commemorate those people you want to remember!

    I recommend digital because it is cheaper in the long run due to not needing film. In fact, Kodak discontinued most photo film production by 2010 such that analog cameras are no longer widely supported. Granted, the ubiquity of 8+ megapixel camera embedded in smartphones may someday make the idea of a standalone digital camera seem quaint.

    Don't take a camera to a party you don't host because it's too easy to misplace -- one second of distraction, and it's gone. Feel free to use the camera if you're hosting an event, but lock it into a dresser drawer or file cabinet every moment you don't have it in your hands. Do this for every valuable you have. A combination lock or padlock will suffice if the drawer lacks a built-in tumbler lock. Test the lock to ensure it latches!

  5. Voice recorder

    Besides proving your professor did or did not say anything offensive during a lecture, a voice recorder can be great for immortalizing the voices of your acquaintances during that tumultuous period. Take the same precautions to safeguard your voice recorder as you would your camera.

    Be extra careful when deciding whether to press the "record" button, however: The so-called "public arena" doctrine of what is permissible is far narrower for speech than it is for someone's image due to the shorter range of the audible (acoustic waves) versus the visual (ROYGBIV electromagnetic waves).

    In other words, a person may be photographed when on public property (sidewalks, streets, university plazas and buildings, most businesses unless the owner or an employee tells you otherwise) but not voice recorded except in very particular circumstances. This stems from visibility having a far greater range than audibility -- when view is obstructed and sound is at the normal speaking level of around 60 dB, of course. Someone shouting into a megaphone is fair game for audio recording in most jurisdictions because it is understood that individual wants to be heard publicly.

    Wisconsin law provides for such recording during one-on-one conversation, but you must cease recording when a third person chimes in. One may presumably resume recording when the conversation reverts to a dyadic interaction, even if the interlocutor is different: The limit of two people per recording is the rule of thumb. Read the germane statutes and case law of your own state to decide this; a lawyer will generally be overly cautious to avoid being considered liable.

    On that note, I will pass the buck on taking responsibility for this information because it is only general information and not advice. I'm not telling you or anyone else to photograph someone or to record anyone's voice! You could, or you might not, depending on your own independent judgment.

The above are five very useful items which every college student should bring with him or her to campus. If you've already moved to campus, then politely ask your parents to mail you the missing items. Show them this article if they protest!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Which Jobs Are Sorely Lacking Experienced Candidates?

Minimum experience standards for hiring tend to be stiffest during times of high unemployment, as many who got jobs through walk-in job applications in the mid 1990s might tell you. A brief article by Chad Brooks of Business News Daily brought my attention to an attempt to describe those vacant job positions most elusive to the millions of American job seekers. Although it amounted to an advertisement for Career Builder of North America, the infomercial confirmed my suspicions that college advocates are wary of naming which positions are sorely lacking graduates of the right major and internship pedigree, if not outright seniority in experience.

I then found the official Career Builder summary of the Harris Interactive study; it turns out that Career Builder merely set the study parameters but left all the grunt work (data collection, tabulation, presentation) to Harris, the same company which pays consumer survey takers in "HI Points." Although none of the Harris Interactive studies commissioned by Career Builder are peer reviewed, would be willing to conduct a thorough peer review for a nominal fee.

I actually completed Harris surveys for points from 2004 through 2012 but cancelled when it became more difficult for me to qualify into surveys; my demographics did not change, but perhaps the survey sorting algorithm did. I had earned enough thumb drives and umbrellas by then to be satisfied, as point redemptions were for prizes only and not for cash. That also coincided with Harris changing its HI Point redemption to magazines only, so there were no more practical goods to be had, just propaganda.

And speaking of propaganda: According to Career Builder President Brent Rasmussen's summary of the unpublished data set allegedly comprised of responses from around two thousand respondents, the ten most difficult-to-fill jobs cited by HR staff are, in no particular order:

  • Sales representative

  • Machine operator/assembler/production worker

  • Nurse

  • Truck driver

  • Software developer

  • Engineer

  • Marketing professional

  • Accountant

  • Mechanic

  • IT manager/network administrator

Be mindful that these are HR personnel's recollections during the latter half of May and the first week of June 2013 about all vacancies they remember from 2010 through 2013. Again, consult the actual press release for stratification of those jobs by net change in positions (both repeating and first-time vacancies) and percentage growth (relative to its own job type but not relative to all job growth). I could reproduce the numbers here in a long table but don't want to syndicate a press release. By reading this before you read the report, you have a more critical framework by which to interpret the findings.

At the end of the press release, Rasmussen shills "formal education and on-the-job training" as the means to land these nearly-unattainable jobs. However, those millions of under-employed college graduates working minimum-wage service jobs deflate the notion that formal education means anything without an appropriate amount of hands-on experience -- and placement for such training is often irrespective or coincidental to education.

Of the thousands of job vacancies I've read since January 2008, no more than 3 percent indicated on-the-job training as part of the duties, thereby implying in the remaining 97 percent of vacancies that the new hire must hit the ground running without any time to catch up on any knowledge they lack from his or her internship days.

Also from my experience analyzing job vacancies, I find engineering, network administration, sales, marketing, and accounting positions are difficult to fill because employers are boycotting graduates with fewer than two years' full-time experience.

So if you're enrolled in formal studies, then don't get your employment hopes up until you've completed at least four part-time semesters of internships or equivalent. If you've hit senior year without a single internship, then I understand you might want to finish your degree anyway -- just don't be too disappointed to know you've missed the boat on the best opportunities.

Machine operator vacancies are similar in that the most successful candidates are placed early in their adult lives, except in their case, optimal placement occurs in the late teenage years through their high school CAD/CAM instructor and/or vocational school. Industrial firms are skeptical of candidates who haven't been doing such work continuously since high school, although there may be some temporary assembly positions available through a labor temp agency. Assignments will vary from one week to the next, however.

It is challenging to source qualified candidates for truck driver because the majority of the population either wants to spend more time with family instead of being on the road or wants to drive for a living but cannot obtain a commercial driver's license due to a horrible driving record. Nursing candidates are usually placed as nursing assistants while still in nursing school and work 24-hour or longer shifts much like ER doctors, thereby causing sleep imbalances and irritability with family when trying to balance home life with the innate need for sleep.

Software development is distinct from web development because the two disciplines have different tools. For example, PHP for a web server is a subset of the stand-alone PHP executable libraries. Try invoking the "stdin" class on web-only PHP and tell me whether it accepts user input; you'll get an error instead.

Just as in Java or C++, one must install a gigabyte or more of class libraries and the compiler of a given programming language to develop and test applications. The most effective self-promotion tactic in the field is to develop and sell your own apps; good luck standing out, because you have worldwide competition, unlike in the case of the aforementioned jobs.

If you're that hard-up for work, then there's always the understaffed pizza chain to give you a stressful dead-end job with plenty of opportunities for conflict with the angry, imperious public and a poverty wage. The managers will respect your lack of self-respect for applying at such a last-resort place despite being nominally qualified for much better.

They also won't hold it against you if you paraded around town holding a "for hire" sign, which is actually a hellaciously bad public relations move which only attracts snide remarks from customers who recognize you working at the pizza place.

Fast food chains are generally not that bad to work at unless you're a manager -- in which all the franchise accountability falls onto you -- or if you work in an ungodly place which has the cashiers also wait on walk-in diners and process delivery orders in which the GIS glitches and the customer slurs his or her credit card number, thereby preventing an expedient order while the in-person customers line up for service. Again, stay clear of the pizza places unless you've not been interviewed for any other job under the sun such as used car dealer.

I advise signing up for a temporary staffing agency to obtain placement at assignments where you can build face-to-face contacts. Ask the floor manager about internship opportunities for when your temporary stint is over. The success rate of this approach might be low but will remain higher than that of cold calling or attempting to convince obstinate internship coordinators at over-enrolled university programs.