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(NPR)   Who could have guessed that attaining skills employers want would make you more money?   (npr.org) divider line
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1185 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Oct 2020 at 11:20 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-20 11:30:22 AM  
I did a work study program my final couple semesters in Engineering which basically guaranteed me a job
 
2020-10-20 11:33:25 AM  
I am a white collar worker with a stack of degrees.

The majority of my clients are blue collar workers with, at most, a high school degree.

They make a lot more money than I do.
 
2020-10-20 11:36:48 AM  
We should be pushing more students toward the various skilled trades and away from useless four-year degrees.  Apprenticeships are a decent way to accomplish that.
 
2020-10-20 11:39:59 AM  
My employer would like me to give fast, efficient, friendly customer service, then it gives us computers that will crash in the middle of a transaction, has cameras watching us everywhere, and many things in the consumer chain that are simply not working right now, so that we get yelled at by a bunch of fat consumers who have NEEDS, and are fat assholes.

So fark my employer.
 
2020-10-20 11:47:56 AM  
Standard ops in places like Germany.
 
2020-10-20 11:50:54 AM  
Geez...too bad we systematically dismantled unions and guilds that did this sort of thing....
 
2020-10-20 11:57:01 AM  

State_College_Arsonist: We should be pushing more students toward the various skilled trades and away from useless four-year degrees.  Apprenticeships are a decent way to accomplish that.


It's also hard to outsource a plumber, especially when you need them at 2 am for a broken pipe
 
2020-10-20 11:59:25 AM  

State_College_Arsonist: We should be pushing more students toward the various skilled trades and away from useless four-year degrees.  Apprenticeships are a decent way to accomplish that.


Good thing supply and demand has zero effect on jobs and society can support an infinite amount of welders and plumbers without diminishing returns.
 
2020-10-20 12:04:29 PM  
The dirty little secret with college is that even if you do get a solid 4 year degree, businesses hire based on their immediate, specific requirements.   I've never been hired by a company that said "you've got a good broad engineering background, you could probably pick up this new speciality with no problems".  If they have a project that needs expertise in X, they hire someone with a solid skills in X and the degree is often optional. And then when they no longer need someone with X skills your ass is on the street.

The days when companies hired people with general skills and trained them for the job are largely a thing of the past.

I'm involved with a jobs training non-profit and the unemployment problem is way more complicated to solve with internships.  The type of people who show up for free job training often have problems that are unrelated to being able to do the job, i.e. showing up drunk or high, having toxic personality issues, or having an unstable living situation so they couldn't show up to a job on time even if they wanted to.
 
2020-10-20 12:12:11 PM  
Tangentially relevant

nsfw
Office Space - What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Youtube Wu2HhlTEHMc
 
2020-10-20 12:27:42 PM  

czei: The dirty little secret with college is that even if you do get a solid 4 year degree, businesses hire based on their immediate, specific requirements.   I've never been hired by a company that said "you've got a good broad engineering background, you could probably pick up this new speciality with no problems".  If they have a project that needs expertise in X, they hire someone with a solid skills in X and the degree is often optional. And then when they no longer need someone with X skills your ass is on the street.

The days when companies hired people with general skills and trained them for the job are largely a thing of the past.

I'm involved with a jobs training non-profit and the unemployment problem is way more complicated to solve with internships.  The type of people who show up for free job training often have problems that are unrelated to being able to do the job, i.e. showing up drunk or high, having toxic personality issues, or having an unstable living situation so they couldn't show up to a job on time even if they wanted to.


I have worked in Tech/IT for 20 years.   We use to hire "smart" kids, and train them.  They were loyal and you got industry specific knowledge.   Now we poach from other companies (and they poach from us).    When they do get a "smart" kid, they underpay and overwork.  So if they last 3 years youve done good.
 
2020-10-20 12:37:08 PM  
I've been jobhunting for two years now, and I'm convinced employers have no farking idea what they want, and then they do everything possible to screen out the capable applicants.  Having some C-student HR drone make decisions on my fitness for a research chemistry job is counterproductive and frankly insulting.
 
2020-10-20 12:45:29 PM  
Businesses stopped doing things to retain employees for life (like pensions) and started penny pinching where it hurt the wrong people.  That created a lack of loyalty in workers.  Which meant companies needed individuals with particular expertise but won't train because they can't expect the employee to stick around for the long term.
 
2020-10-20 12:59:55 PM  

GodComplex: State_College_Arsonist: We should be pushing more students toward the various skilled trades and away from useless four-year degrees.  Apprenticeships are a decent way to accomplish that.

Good thing supply and demand has zero effect on jobs and society can support an infinite amount of welders and plumbers without diminishing returns.


I guess you think your plumber is too cheap so we need fewer of them? Nobody said anything about "infinite".
 
2020-10-20 3:16:22 PM  
Good luck guessing what skills the employers in your area will want once you've spent the time and money to acquire them. All the investment and all the risk is on you, none on them.
 
2020-10-20 3:22:52 PM  
I wish we could have the German apprentice program in the States.  It'll never happen, but I can dream.


https://www.theatlantic.com/business/​a​rchive/2014/10/why-germany-is-so-much-​better-at-training-its-workers/381550/​
 
2020-10-20 3:38:35 PM  

czei: The days when companies hired people with general skills and trained them for the job are largely a thing of the past.


Yep.  In 1999, I answered an ad for a COBOL programmer, despite only having had one COBOL course in college in the 80s (on punched cards, no less).  That was the extent of my experience with COBOL, and had no on-the-job coding experience of any kind.  It probably helped my case to print off a bunch of my own source code (I was a shareware game programmer at the time) to show that, yes, I knew how to code.  I got the job, and 21 years later I still have it, and I've yet to write a single line of COBOL code.

I would be willing to bet that the firm wouldn't even glance at my CV now.  And because my skills have become specialized, I already know that if I'm cut loose (unlikely), I'd almost certainly never land another job that pays anywhere near what I make now.  I'm in my mid-50s, and all I want to do is ride this out until retirement.
 
2020-10-20 5:00:08 PM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: I would be willing to bet that the firm wouldn't even glance at my CV now.


That always amused me. I'd tender resignation because I found a way to give myself a substantial pay raise by working elsewhere and an ad for my position would pop up. Invariably I wouldn't be qualified for the position that I got good reviews for and did for a number of years.

On the other hand I tended to get those jobs because they've said, "We're specifically looking for a purple unicorn and you're a horse of a different color, why are you wasting our time?"*   and I'd say, "Well, you called me in here for an interview, so let's talk about what I can do for you".

It's a silly game and the prize is a paycheck which I use for survival.  

And because my skills have become specialized, I already know that if I'm cut loose (unlikely), I'd almost certainly never land another job that pays anywhere near what I make now.

I guess that depends on what you make now. COBOL's still in pretty hot demand as the old programmers retire off. My old man is 67 and doesn't last for more than two years at a job and still seems to have no problem landing new gigs that pay his bills. The jobs are out there, it's a matter of convincing someone that you can do it.

--
*translation: you're our only remotely qualified candidate but we're desperately and hilariously trying to bully our position here.
 
2020-10-20 5:19:01 PM  

H31N0US: I did a work study program my final couple semesters in Engineering which basically guaranteed me a job


helps which college you went to too.
 
2020-10-20 5:21:04 PM  

Rereading TekWar: I wish we could have the German apprentice program in the States.  It'll never happen, but I can dream.


https://www.theatlantic.com/business/a​rchive/2014/10/why-germany-is-so-much-​better-at-training-its-workers/381550/​



Germany has some of that nasty socialism and actually values their own citizens/workers.

Murca is too busy giving everything to the richest 1% and the lazy sit at home stock owners.

that plus all those tax cuts for big business/wealthy means there is little tax money left for anything except War and bailing wall street bankers out.
 
2020-10-20 5:22:44 PM  

Russell_Secord: Good luck guessing what skills the employers in your area will want once you've spent the time and money to acquire them. All the investment and all the risk is on you, none on them.


companies like that.

the also like doing business in a nation with a Precarious Proletariet.   makes things easier for businesses and reduces their risks.
 
2020-10-20 5:30:36 PM  

cryinoutloud: My employer would like me to give fast, efficient, friendly customer service



Has he MET you??
 
2020-10-20 7:46:32 PM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: czei: The days when companies hired people with general skills and trained them for the job are largely a thing of the past.

I would be willing to bet that the firm wouldn't even glance at my CV now.  And because my skills have become specialized, I already know that if I'm cut loose (unlikely), I'd almost certainly never land another job that pays anywhere near what I make now.  I'm in my mid-50s, and all I want to do is ride this out until retirement.


Good luck!  I just turned 57, and hope to somehow keep the IT consulting going until I can start something more fun for semi-retirement.  I've been getting short term website scalability consulting gigs while getting a 3D printing website going:   http://www.3dupfitters.com.
 
2020-10-20 7:52:24 PM  
A specialty steel plant nearby was so desperate for skilled workers that they gave a state of the art fabrication shop to the community college and had some of their people assist in teaching.
 
2020-10-20 8:19:33 PM  
It's about time industry got back to training people instead of assuming colleges have both the equipment and the people to train people for the EXACT position they want to fill.
 
2020-10-20 8:37:19 PM  

czei: The dirty little secret with college is that even if you do get a solid 4 year degree, businesses hire based on their immediate, specific requirements.   I've never been hired by a company that said "you've got a good broad engineering background, you could probably pick up this new speciality with no problems".  If they have a project that needs expertise in X, they hire someone with a solid skills in X and the degree is often optional. And then when they no longer need someone with X skills your ass is on the street.

The days when companies hired people with general skills and trained them for the job are largely a thing of the past.

I'm involved with a jobs training non-profit and the unemployment problem is way more complicated to solve with internships.  The type of people who show up for free job training often have problems that are unrelated to being able to do the job, i.e. showing up drunk or high, having toxic personality issues, or having an unstable living situation so they couldn't show up to a job on time even if they wanted to.


Same thing in the accounting field. Nobody hires general bookkeepers, despite most of the AR/AP work being super repetitive and easy for anyone to pick up with a little training. So to stay competitive, you have to have a specialty - tax or inventory management or real estate or trust law. Something. I'm in auto finance and title work after being unemployed for 3 months (by choice, I quit and moved 500 miles to a city).

Less than 2 weeks on the job, and I'm up to speed. My boss is thrilled that I picked it up so quickly. Ma'am, I literally have 20,000+ hours of experience doing this exact job. I did this job in Indiana with slightly different forms. Don't be shocked when an expert is in fact an expert.
 
2020-10-20 9:03:25 PM  

State_College_Arsonist: We should be pushing more students toward the various skilled trades and away from useless four-year degrees.  Apprenticeships are a decent way to accomplish that.


Agreed. But I'd go one further. Convert a lot of current 4 year or grad degree careers into trade-adjacent. Two years plus paid trade apprenticeships.  Companies get cheap and committed labor, students get paid education.  Just as an example, half of IT (at least) could be approached in this way, especially with incoming students that are much more prone to be technically literate than past decades.
 
2020-10-20 9:18:46 PM  

natazha: A specialty steel plant nearby was so desperate for skilled workers that they gave a state of the art fabrication shop to the community college and had some of their people assist in teaching.


Sounds like someone trying to get around the sheet metal workers' union
 
2020-10-20 10:07:01 PM  
My company paid for 3 years of night classes and gave me a private apprenticeship in their maintenance department. I'm contractually stuck here for 3 more years. But I get very nice job offers through indeed and LinkedIn every day. It's been life changing. I'm paid nearing double what I was and I enjoy my job. And most importantly I don't worry about job security.
 
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