Reality Bites: The Higher/Hire Education Hustle

As it would be, our economy is currently all points crappy and finding a job is becoming harder than finding “real” designer merchandise on Canal St in NYC. Most parents have been financially and mentally preparing their children for college since Kindergarten. The American Dream is built around having a college degree. There are some situations where people are successful without one but for the most part, degrees have become a social and economical requirement. How is it possible that in this day and age, college graduates cannot find a job and are unemployed? And if these degrees are needed for jobs, how is it that people who have them are often deemed “overqualified”? There seems to be some kind of dependency on the money that is borrowed, lent and spent on the higher education regimen so one would have to ask…

Who is behind the HIRE/Higher Education Hustle?

Thinking about all of the people and companies that benefit from college students is frightening. In order to keep these people in business, colleges have to be full. The banks, stores, publishing companies, and other establishments that depend on the college student dollar to stay afloat are aplenty. The Back to School shopping for college is often expensive and gives a lot back to the economy. Textbooks cost a fortune and a laptop or some other electronic device is a mandate nowadays. All of these things add up. Aside from tuition, there are an abundance of extra costs. The companies that depended on that revenue would surely vanish if attendance at colleges decreased.

And the bank loans and hefty interest percentages… If parents didn’t put a college fund in place for their child, he/she will be paying back college loans for the majority of their life. The banks will make sure of that and with the chances of finding a job so slim, default is almost eminent.

Many employers require their perspective employees to have some kind of degree past a High School diploma. People plan their lives around obtaining jobs pertinent to their educational background. A lot of times it happens but a lot of times it does not. A lot of jobs, like the New York City Department of Education, pride themselves on educated teachers. The Department offers incentives and pay raises for teachers who go above and beyond a B.A. Matter of fact, a Masters Degree is mandatory. There are teacher programs and all kinds of things in place to make sure this happens. Aside from having to obtain a higher education, candidates for teaching have to pay the State of New York for any licenses or teaching certificates they obtain. Not only does the State get paid but NYSTCE gets paid at least three times for the various exams needed to “teach”. Recently though, the Mayor and his gang have had a change and decided that teachers with Masters Degrees and PhD’s are too expensive to pay. If a teacher is currently in that target pay salary and approaching pension eligible, the Department is finding a way to either lay you off or terminate you. But at the same time they are more than willing to hire new teachers straight out of college, clad with no experience and a Bachelors, which earns them a minimal salary. Sounds like a great financial trade-off for the City.

Over-qualified is a term used loosely nowadays. While it is easily explained, the concept for being over-qualified for a position is still baffling. Reading an email from a company that has deemed you “over-qualified” with a myriad of spelling and grammatical errors in the text, is depressing. Someone who is considered over-qualified might be needed at some of these companies. LOL

There aren’t a lot of answers to the question except to say higher education is a business. It needs to thrive in order for other entities to continue to progress. While many people feel accomplished and have had much career success with their college education, others are caught in the hustle of the higher education matrix. The best advice, don’t get caught in the hustle.

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