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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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

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!

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