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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.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Generation Jobless: A Rap

05-08-2014 Update: UW-Milwaukee has unveiled its winning crop of graduates this May 2014. How many do you think are profiled? Only five! And that's out of a graduating cohort of over 5,000 students.

Two of those publicized grads had already earned a bachelor's before their second degree, meaning they wasted 4 years on a stillborn career only to try again. The other three were winning all sorts of non-UWM awards from their freshmen year onward -- so although they hit pay dirt on their first degree, they in no way resemble anything the typical student or graduate will experience career-wise.

And yes, UWM has feel-good awards such as the CVSL Volunteer of the Year, STAR Awards, and Student Senate blandishments -- but they are all for naught, neither valued nor taken seriously in the real world of work. This is true not only for UWM but also for every university where every other person ISN'T an Elon Musk clone in terms of intelligence and social capital.

The MPA grad in the group, Aaron Lipski, had been a firefighter prior to earning his degree, thereby continuing the trend of a public administration degree being worthless unless you already work for the city. That man graduated from UWM way back in 2001 with a lousy communications degree, and only now is anyone profiling him because he finally achieved his goal of preparing budget documents for the Milwaukee Common Council. It only took him until age 50 or so to get there!

And really, Lipski's role as firefighter enabled him to gain the trust of the internship gatekeepers. That man would have never been hired if not for his vo-tech work experience; the degree was incidental and arguably inconsequential to Aaron's success.

The only reason I mention Lipski by name is because his example -- although seemingly pro-UWM on its face -- actually underscores how little UWM had to do with any of his job prospects. Aaron made his career by training as a firefighter and then using that position to transition into budget preparation.

Dennis Hatch and henchmen had nothing to do with Lipski working for the Milwaukee Common Council, so visitors to the UWM news page should not be fooled. And if anyone connected to Aaron is reading this, I'm not insulting Lipski but am saying universities tend to take much more credit than they are due.

Take back your lives from the higher education hucksters. Boycott all universities, not just UWM!

05-01-2014 Original:

Another May, another wave of graduates -- and for what? Out of thousands of graduates per institution, a few dozen will have white-collar jobs when they graduate and be featured in the “graduate profile” graduation promotion consisting of a photo and brief story of each “success story” grad.

The remainder will compete for professional vacancies, with no more than 500 of the 2,000 or so graduates entering those positions by the following May’s batch of grads. The remainder are either unemployed or working multiple unskilled, part-time jobs.

And while data specific to graduates are more widely publicized in the United Kingdom, America is heading towards the same slump due to misdirecting youth into accredited tertiary education they neither need nor benefit from.

When only a fourth of graduates secure white-collar jobs a year after earning their degree and in most cases, I really mean EARNING it the notion of a university as “professional career preparation” is obviously an odious lie meant to deceive through vague but legally permissible connotations of greener-than-reality pastures on the far side of the university journey. So bring shame to the higher education hucksters by refusing to enroll at their universities!

For the remainder of graduates constituting our surplus educated labor force, the clock is ticking until the next gaggle of grads will steal the jobs that prior graduates had been waiting and pushing for their turn in the queue. The December graduates cap off their formal credential in time for the January hiring spurt; and any summer students who technically graduate in August are considered in the job market more or less along the same set of May graduates while finishing their final three or so credits.

This presents a double whammy to the graduate who has been unable to persuade someone to employ him or her professionally by next academic year’s end: Even if building their skills through dumb trial and error in mock, unpaid-at-home run-throughs of what they think their desired jobs will be like, occupationally stagnant graduates are facing competitors who are at least a year longer, less depreciated in the labor market, and possessing fewer memories of failure in the rat race.

As Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute reports, “...There are still more than 20 percent more unemployed workers than job openings...(and) between 1.2 and 7.6 times as many unemployed workers as job openings in every industry.”

And that's not even segmenting ratios of jobseekers to job vacancies by years of experience in their respective industries, degree holder status or non-degreed person, etc. One may infer the job prospects follow an upright bell curve for years of experience -- with those trying to enter the field and those close to retirement with the worst chances -- and that degree vs. non-degree flattening out over the years due to experience holding a greater premium than on-paper credentials that have ceased to be an economic differentiator, no longer a Veblen good.

After so many years of this nonsense, it begs the question: Why don’t universities let local firms determine a greater portion of the curriculum so more of their program graduates can actually get jobs? So-called “academic freedom” aside, university staff have no incentive to care about better employment prospects for their pupils.

But now, scores of graduates are telling aspiring students about how many of their contemporaries have fallen short in the labor market despite possessing the once-ballyhooed powers of the college degree. Don’t think that an advanced degree will cure your situation! Is anyone hiring you to work as a graduate assistant in a research or teaching capacity? If the answer is “no,” then no one will care about your hard-earned graduate degree, and it will be like Groundhog Day when you again graduate without a job.

Can it be that such degree-affiliated value is entirely imaginary, like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? It certainly seems to be so when you examine the unemployed and under-employed graduates working unskilled jobs in your neighborhood! “There is no evidence of this,” claim university spokespeople -- but that is only because they do not monitor such data! WILLFUL IGNORANCE is the entire defense of university career centers!

It is time to expose them. Merely spreading word of mouth isn’t enough. I have therefore composed, performed, and mixed the following song:

Generation Jobless: A Rap - Lyrics

They call you tops; that's for real /
When you graduate, whose job you'll steal? /
Higher ed hucksters, turnin' green /
When students protest, the jobless scene /
Career Centers don't care, a bunch of bricks /
Neither do advisors; deceptive tricks /
What work you'll do, whatever the pay /
Years beyond graduation day?

Song download: Play this everywhere, all the time.
Generation Jobless: A Rap [0:20 | 784 KB]

Samples: Use these in your own raps to spread the vibe.
Generation Jobless Acapella [0:19 | 464 KB]
Generation Jobless Beatbox [0:20 | 488 KB]

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