[rescue] Mainframe on eBay

Barry Keeney barryk at chaoscon.com
Wed Sep 21 17:12:31 CDT 2005

On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, velociraptor wrote:

> On 9/21/05, Barry Keeney <barryk at chaoscon.com> wrote:
> >   Too many kids go into fields they like without understanding
> > the likely job market they'll enter with that degree.
> I disagree, entirely.  A university education is not intended to
> be trade school, though that is what everyone is trying to turn
> them into it seems.  Universities and colleges are supposed to
> be producing well-rounded individuals that can go into the world
> and make their way, whatever field they choose, not prepare
> individuals for a specific job in their chosen field.

  First I'm not saying a english degree or any degree doesn't
have value, if only to the person who gets it thats fine.

  Well rounded - yes, Knowing something of the field they studied
- yes, teach them one thing and expect them to use it to get a job 
in a unrelated field - no.

  An english degree won't get you a job as a engineer. And 
just because you have a degree in english doesn't mean I 
should hire you as a computer admin/tech/trainee etc.

> People are talking about sophomores in HS needing to know
> what career they are going into.  

  Well HS is the place where kids should start thinking/
looking for that they might want to do and start working
on the skill they'll need to make that happen.

  As a sophomores I decided I like science, so I took classes
I didn't need for high school but would help with college.
I also looked at other areas, art, music, the trades..

> Easier to turn them into micro-
> serfs that way, I guess.  It's very sad to me that people are so
> discouraged from doing what they love and instead pointed at
> chasing the almighty dollar.  It's also not surprising that
> corporations are trying to put the burden of "skills" training on
> colleges/universities so they don't have to spend the money
> themselves.

  I grew up in the real world, sorry. I paid for the school
I did get out of my OWN pocket, No grants, no loans, no parents
cash. I want VALUE for my money. If you're going to teach me something
it should either something I want to learn knowning it won't
help me make a dime more or help me make a living in that field.

  I would be great if you love what you do, but it shouldn't
be a requirement when deciding what you study, but guide you.
I like what I do, I wouldn't starve for something I love to
do, and I bet I could paid you enough to do something you hate.
Well I might not have that kind of money... but you get the 

  The "skills" that corporations expect from college are important.
If I'm hiring a fresh college grad in EE, (s)he better know a resistor
from an IC, the degree tells me that. I also expect they'll learn more
on the job, but I'm not going to hire a someone with only a english
degree and then train them to design electronics.

  I'll hire people for jobs for what they know about that job, 
not because they know a lot more then me about something unrelated
to the job. A Phd in english doesn't make you a better ditch digger :^)
Although you might some *colorful* ways to describe the work :^) 

> But both notions completely ignore that labor statistics indicate
> the majority of people will switch jobs 11 times in their lifetime
> and will change complete careers at least 3 times.  (Although,
> I've yet to find a source for that "statistic", I'll admit.)

  Well, I can't say you're wrong, the statistics are close
to what I've gone though anyway...

  So I should get *any* degree and I can use it in whatever
field I end up in or might want to work?

> The US feds, not feeling that they have enough control what
> with NCLB, are now taking their misshapen ideas to the colleges
> and universities in the US:

  If the job market won't hire people with the degrees they're
getting, What use is it for the goverment to support these
degrees with tax dollars? Public colleges are paid for by tax
dollars, tuition doesn't come close to covering the operating

Barry Keeney
Chaos Consulting
email barryk at chaoscon.com

"Rap is Square Dancing gone terribly, terribly Wrong...." 

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