Degrees Lost In Translation, Educational Predators, and The Corporate Survivalist System
Truth Served in Large Dosages
20 years ago a Bachelor’s degree would have been enough to safely land yourself a middle class salary, however, with the emphasis of higher education many companies are demanding more from their candidates. I stared at my wife five years ago and told her as we were studying, "The Bachelors is the new Associates". The American culture is undergoing a transformation in how education is viewed and obtained. We have also seen the transition from less brick and mortar schools to distance learning, employers disclosing "preferred candidates" who possess MBA's, and a movement I have coined, "The Certification Crusades". One of the main components to this equation is the abundant job shortages across the country.
I want you to visualize yourself applying for a position and selecting the submit button. You anxiously wait for a response and in approximately 2-3 months you receive no notice. In frustration you submit dozens more, determined to receive an invite for an interview but that email never arrives. I realize what I am about to say could be received as controversial but in advance it is my opinion. In the last 5-10 years Americans have been faced with the great challenge of dealing with (ready for another coined phrased) "Networking Wars".
Networking Wars -in short - means if you know someone in the company, the outside applicant doesn't stand a chance. The shortage of positions that graduates and transitioning employees desire are far and few between. This competitive climate has created a survivalist mentality and most friends/acquaintances pull their resources in order to outlast the storm. We see the same reaction when businesses fall on hard economic times. Some businesses are acquired and others become subsidiaries to sustain economic crisis.
Refocus for Logic's Sake
I realized we skipped around quite a bit so let us refocus for a moment. If economic decline is imminent or influx and staffing levels cannot be effectively projected, then we are losing jobs on an account of a long-range business strategy that cannot be validated, which means the problems remains to remain. A company then pushes the brake on the hiring of many prominent candidates and the waiting game begins. As the candidate waits, they search the internet finding undesirable positions that would be chosen out of necessity rather than desire. If a position does open then the hiring department is flooded with applications, thereby greatly reducing a candidate’s chance of a response.
Now in parallel to this conundrum, universities in the United States have taken the opportunity to react ambitiously and prey on the student body by hiking tuition rates to astronomical proportions, forcing many to become heavily indebted and unable to repay their financial aid after completion because there were no positions to help facilitate that repayment. The school pitches the need to "Achieve your MBA" and watch yourself propel into a top level executives chair (false). Universities are promising students in America a 1:1 system.
So we have the mob of students waiting outside for a position and those inside the castle walls want to remain so we witness the development of corporate networking. Link arms and hold on because no is getting off the ride until we say so. As stated earlier, people are mimicking their networking capabilities with how companies perform mergers and acquisitions. Everyone is trying to survive so let us be realistic.
You probably didn't need the advanced degree but now it’s yours. You didn't need the high tuition debt but you have it now. You may have deserved the job but you didn't get hired.
The corporate and academic system has to reform in order for improvements to take effect. Otherwise, wave back from your office window, I'm still living under the freeway overpass.