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 in school (middle school and high school) we were told to go to university. If we didn’t want to end up as bums we had to get a bachelors degree and that was that. If, of course, you didn’t have the grades for university there was always trade school but ending up there was seen as a failure in a way. So all of us young ones go off to university, get our degrees and go out to find jobs only to find that there are none. Now, they say that too many kids went to university and all the jobs are in the trades. Well, that would have been good to know about 4 or 5 years ago! Granted, even if I knew this before, there aren’t any trades that I could see myself in but that doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone. I am sure there are a huge group of people that went to university because they thought they were supposed to when in reality they may have done better in something else. I could see myself going into some 2 year programs. There are a lot of certificate programs that interest me but like I said, I was conditioned to see that as beneath me. I was an honor student, that meant university. I read an article recently that was comparing starting salaries of university graduates to comparable 2 year programs. Not only is the starting salary higher but graduates from the 2 year program have a head start experience-wise than the students who were in the 4 year program. Which brings me to my next point: experience vs. education. I’ve been debating which is the way to go, working your way up and gaining experience or going and getting a higher level of education. I think it has a lot to do with what field you want to go into. I keep looking at job postings and majority of them you need 3-5 years of experience minimum. Question is, how do I get experience if I need experience to get experience (ya, confusing)? So do I work at minimum wage jobs waiting for the perfect opening or do I go back to school and hope there is more available when I graduate with a masters? It is a confusing time to be starting out in your career. Baby boomers are retiring later, people that normally could survive on one income now need two, so why would employers want to hire us kids instead? We are a bunch of punks that think we know everything and are entitled to everything (or so I hear). There has to be something out there for something who has the skills and drive right? Please tell me I’m right. Please tell me I didn’t waste thousands of dollars on a education just to work as a barista!