I feel this is a debate that often goes on during the hiring process. Which should be placed higher, skills or credentials? If someone teaches themselves how to code is that better or worse than someone who learnt while getting a degree in web design. They know how to do the same thing but one of them has the paper to back it up. What about something someone is naturally skilled at, does the skill count if there isn’t a certificate to confirm it?
The problem I often encounter with job postings is that I go down the skills needed, check, the responsibilities and tasks of the job, yup, I can do those, then I get to the school/experience part. Many times employers want a specific degree, it doesn’t matter that you have the skills to do the job, if you don’t have the degree which they request your resume isn’t going too far. Definitely not going on the short stack. It used to be that as long as you had a degree, in anything really, it counted for something; showed you are capable of completing something, were committed to working towards something for at least four years.
Another pet peeve is extensive experience required for entry level positions. Isn’t the point of entry level jobs that you don’t need too much experience? If I am just coming out of school how am I supposed to get any type of job if I need five years experience to get an entry level job; one most likely below my skill set to start with. Most jobs like that you can learn pretty quickly, if it is taking you five years to master answering phones you may want to reevaluate your life. The whole idea behind ‘entry level’ jobs is so people right out of school can work up the ladder. Back in the day, going to college meant you could skip the entry level and go straight to a mid-level career. Ah, the good old days. Of course I was not in the job market during that time but I have heard the myth from my elders. The myth of how going to college guarantees you a decent job. Oh elders, how you have led me astray.
I understand the theory behind these methods. They are put in place to weed out applicants. But it makes it really hard for people trying to enter the job market when employers are being so picky. Is the job market really so much different now than it was a few years ago? What changed so much that a college degree can get you a retail job but not much else?
Can we revolt? Start a revolution of some sort? Well if I do become the face of a revolution at the very least it will be one more thing to put on my resume!
Now everyone’s favorite: Memes!
When I was younger it all seemed simple. I knew what was coming. I would finish high school, go to university, get a job, get married etc. It didn’t matter yet what type of job I would get, I couldn’t decide anyway, I could do whatever it was that I wanted.
Fast forward to the present. I did everything I was supposed to. Went through school on the honor roll, got into whatever university I applied to, got whatever summer job I really wanted. Then it all stopped. All of a sudden, even with a degree, I can’t even get an interview to entry level positions. When I was in school I didn’t do your standard retail or fast food jobs. I worked in local museums and galleries thinking in the long run that would look better on a resume than McDonald’s. Sadly, now there is a recession, which means little to no funding to any type of job I’m actually trained to do. I probably couldn’t get a retail job now if I wanted to. Essentially everyone has more experience than I do in that field considering I have about zero. Oh wait, I worked at the gift shop in the galleries, maybe that counts.
We were raised believing we could do whatever we wanted and if we worked hard enough we would succeed. We believed this because it worked for our parents’ generation. Employers would take a chance on you even if you didn’t have the exact requirements. Entry level jobs meant you would be trained and could work your way up. Getting a job meant you could afford an apartment, a car and maybe a house if the job was good enough. You got benefits! My mom worked as a cashier at a grocery store after high school, got paid about $20/hour with full benefits. Can you imagine that today? You are lucky if you get more than minimum wage and forget about any kind of health care plan.
I always wonder if maybe it isn’t as bad as it seems. Maybe I have been spoiled expecting to be able to get a job that pays for me to have a decent apartment out of university. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect to get more than minimum wage after all my years of schooling. I would get excited about finding a job that would pay $2000/month and my dad says that I can’t even afford to live on that. So maybe no one knows what to expect. All I can do is keep putting my resume out there and hope I finally get a call.
Now to remember the good old days…
“Old Economy Steven”