Comments on: Jobs are for the little people. http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/ Just your typical female vegan capitalist mathematician ceramicist cyclist's weblog. Fri, 03 Feb 2006 10:46:08 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=1.5 by: meep http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-103 Sat, 18 Sep 2004 02:19:20 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-103 At N.C. State, we had a food science program, and an agriculture program. They didn't supply all the food to the caf, but they did make ice cream and apple cider for sale. I suppose the equivalent of selling your homework for math students was selling all the former calculus exams with full solutions (which is what the math club did for fundraising.) The engineering students ran their computer network, math grads and undergrads ran their computer network (and the people in my dorm ran their own network)... this is how a lot of my friends got those tech jobs out of school, because their degrees had nothing to do with computers. Most of the physical trainers for the sports teams were undergrads training to become... sports trainers. I think that being at a large state university, most students expected to have a job while at college to pay the bills, and there were plenty of jobs to be had on campus. The college was cheap, and knew they could pay undergrads piddling money, and the stuff would still get done. Amazing, I know. The people who =really= were there to learn for the sake of learning were the retired folks who were taking classes (at a discount, I might add, and usually not for credit or a degree). There was a retired medical doctor going for a physics degree, I remember, and one old guy in my Japanese classes. They were cool to have around. At N.C. State, we had a food science program, and an agriculture program. They didn’t supply all the food to the caf, but they did make ice cream and apple cider for sale. I suppose the equivalent of selling your homework for math students was selling all the former calculus exams with full solutions (which is what the math club did for fundraising.) The engineering students ran their computer network, math grads and undergrads ran their computer network (and the people in my dorm ran their own network)… this is how a lot of my friends got those tech jobs out of school, because their degrees had nothing to do with computers. Most of the physical trainers for the sports teams were undergrads training to become… sports trainers. I think that being at a large state university, most students expected to have a job while at college to pay the bills, and there were plenty of jobs to be had on campus. The college was cheap, and knew they could pay undergrads piddling money, and the stuff would still get done. Amazing, I know.

The people who =really= were there to learn for the sake of learning were the retired folks who were taking classes (at a discount, I might add, and usually not for credit or a degree). There was a retired medical doctor going for a physics degree, I remember, and one old guy in my Japanese classes. They were cool to have around.

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by: Daniel Lemire http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-105 Sun, 19 Sep 2004 07:30:26 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-105 I think that the trouble comes from the fact that professors have big egos. You need a big ego to even get the job and keep it. You need to be able to pretend you will be or are, the best expert in the world in something. You need to be pretentious a bit. It helps if you have little experience of the real-world and can easily dismiss a large chunk of the universe as being barely civilized. In turn, these professors couldn't offer job training if their lives depended on it. Most of them could not find jobs outside universities. In some department, like mathematics, maybe one person could find a job outside the university, others would be serving fries, if that. Add the fact that they are incompetent at offering job training with a big ego, and you have people who will say that job training is irrelevant within university, and their ego will lead them to say that it is even harmful. I think that the trouble comes from the fact that professors have big egos. You need a big ego to even get the job and keep it. You need to be able to pretend you will be or are, the best expert in the world in something. You need to be pretentious a bit. It helps if you have little experience of the real-world and can easily dismiss a large chunk of the universe as being barely civilized.

In turn, these professors couldn’t offer job training if their lives depended on it. Most of them could not find jobs outside universities. In some department, like mathematics, maybe one person could find a job outside the university, others would be serving fries, if that.

Add the fact that they are incompetent at offering job training with a big ego, and you have people who will say that job training is irrelevant within university, and their ego will lead them to say that it is even harmful.

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by: l337n00b http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-106 Sun, 19 Sep 2004 13:26:52 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-106 I don't think that university can be dismissed completely as a place that provide usable skills in the workplace, or at least not as a place that weeds out people who are lacking certain skills. I don't think that a university degree shows that someone is going to be a good employee, but it does show that you are more likely to be able to learn the on-the-job skills you need quickly (since no one but professionals and tradespeople have any kind of training anyway) and less likely to have violent conflicts with your co-workers (since for one reason or another education is negatively correlated to violent behaviour). It shows that you are willing to stay up all night now and then to get a job done, or that you are one of the rare people who is so good at organizing that they never have to do that, or that you are so good at cheating that the company will never know the difference. University isn't job training, but highschool wasn't university training, and elementary school wasn't highschool training. We just try to muddle through, figuring everything out as we go along. The more levels of education someone has been through, or the more years of experience someone has in the workforce, the more they have shown that they muddle through alright. I essentially agree with you, but there is something to be said for making everyone learn for learning's sake for a while. It keeps culture moving at a break-neck pace. Job training is really best left until after you get the job anyway, which is why I keep wishing that apprenticeship programs were open to people my age. I don’t think that university can be dismissed completely as a place that provide usable skills in the workplace, or at least not as a place that weeds out people who are lacking certain skills. I don’t think that a university degree shows that someone is going to be a good employee, but it does show that you are more likely to be able to learn the on-the-job skills you need quickly (since no one but professionals and tradespeople have any kind of training anyway) and less likely to have violent conflicts with your co-workers (since for one reason or another education is negatively correlated to violent behaviour). It shows that you are willing to stay up all night now and then to get a job done, or that you are one of the rare people who is so good at organizing that they never have to do that, or that you are so good at cheating that the company will never know the difference.

University isn’t job training, but highschool wasn’t university training, and elementary school wasn’t highschool training. We just try to muddle through, figuring everything out as we go along. The more levels of education someone has been through, or the more years of experience someone has in the workforce, the more they have shown that they muddle through alright.

I essentially agree with you, but there is something to be said for making everyone learn for learning’s sake for a while. It keeps culture moving at a break-neck pace. Job training is really best left until after you get the job anyway, which is why I keep wishing that apprenticeship programs were open to people my age.

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by: Daniel Lemire's blog » Does your university think that “Jobs are for the little people"? http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-104 Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:15:38 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-104 [...] chool, the more it suffers from the jobs-are-for-little-people syndrome as documented in a <a href="http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/index.php?p=42">post</a> by Tall, Dark, and Mysterious. Here is an insightful quote: University isn&#8217;t job trai [...] […] chool, the more it suffers from the jobs-are-for-little-people syndrome as documented in a post by Tall, Dark, and Mysterious. Here is an insightful quote: University isn’t job trai […]

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by: wes http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-107 Sun, 19 Sep 2004 23:26:07 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-107 You're really a brilliant writer. I love it when I stop by and there's a new entry. You’re really a brilliant writer. I love it when I stop by and there’s a new entry.

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by: meep http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-108 Mon, 20 Sep 2004 01:48:39 -0700 http://talldarkandmysterious.ca/archives/2004/09/17/jobs-are-for-the-little-people/#comment-108 Well, university is not meant as job training - so why do jobs that really don't require the kind of training university supplies require that damned degree? Leetnoob (not a leeter myself, so I know I misspell your name ;) ) has a bit of it - it's a filter for certain things that have nothing to do with university itself. It's like a Harvard degree is a signal that you are intelligent and can learn stuff. However, from my own job interviewing experience, my educational experience (and excellent record) gets my foot in the door, and other things get me hired. It's not only job history, but experience in general - I have my own website, and wrote Perl filters for it. I've taught myself several different programming languages for particular purposes (and I remember why I preferred one language over another, and what kind of tasks they're suited for). I've helped people online figure out golf foursome schedules. I've had a brief stint as an expert witness in a patent infringement case (that was interesting - never made it to court, though). My biggest selling point is being a fast learner, and I've sure proved it at my job -- in one year, I've gone from Excel newbie to the Excel expert other people consult about problems (I also get the coolest assignments because of this). In any case, I didn't go get a Masters degree in math so I could get particular jobs - I did it because I enjoyed learning math. People do have to realize that to get a job, you've got to do more than just take classes - everybody with a university degree has done that. You really need to have something to show skills you've developed, and initiative outside of just taking classes. I think most colleges do admit that this is the case, and many have co-op programs to help their students get job experience, but really, it's up to you. Well, university is not meant as job training - so why do jobs that really don’t require the kind of training university supplies require that damned degree? Leetnoob (not a leeter myself, so I know I misspell your name ;) ) has a bit of it - it’s a filter for certain things that have nothing to do with university itself. It’s like a Harvard degree is a signal that you are intelligent and can learn stuff.

However, from my own job interviewing experience, my educational experience (and excellent record) gets my foot in the door, and other things get me hired. It’s not only job history, but experience in general - I have my own website, and wrote Perl filters for it. I’ve taught myself several different programming languages for particular purposes (and I remember why I preferred one language over another, and what kind of tasks they’re suited for). I’ve helped people online figure out golf foursome schedules. I’ve had a brief stint as an expert witness in a patent infringement case (that was interesting - never made it to court, though). My biggest selling point is being a fast learner, and I’ve sure proved it at my job — in one year, I’ve gone from Excel newbie to the Excel expert other people consult about problems (I also get the coolest assignments because of this).

In any case, I didn’t go get a Masters degree in math so I could get particular jobs - I did it because I enjoyed learning math. People do have to realize that to get a job, you’ve got to do more than just take classes - everybody with a university degree has done that. You really need to have something to show skills you’ve developed, and initiative outside of just taking classes. I think most colleges do admit that this is the case, and many have co-op programs to help their students get job experience, but really, it’s up to you.

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