Posts filed under ‘Unemployment’

How Not to Get a Job: Go to College

A story in yesterday’s WaPo sheds some interesting light on which type of college grads suffer more from unemployment:

Recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the arts, humanities and architecture experienced significantly higher rates of joblessness, according to a study being released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Among recent college graduates, those with the highest rates of unemployment had undergraduate degrees in architecture (13.9 percent), the arts (11.1 percent) and the humanities (9.4 percent), according to the study.

The recent college graduates with the lowest rates of unemployment had degrees in health (5.4 percent), education (5.4 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (7 percent.) Those with business and engineering degrees also fared relatively well.

One of the study authors makes the point:

“People keep telling kids to study what they love — but some loves are worth more than others,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, one of the study’s authors. “When people talk about college, there are all these high-minded ideas about it making people better citizens and participating fully in the life of their times. All that’s true, but go talk to the unemployed about that.”

The analysis, which was based on 2009 and 2010 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, comes amid an increasing debate over the value of college education…

The Hard Times report from the source, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, describes their major findings:

  1. Choice of major substantially affects employment prospects and earnings.
  2. People who make technology are better off than people who use technology.
  3. In general, majors that are linked to occupations have better employment prospects than majors focused on general skills. But, some occupation specific majors, such as Architecture, were hurt by the recession and fared worse than general skills majors.
  4. For many, pursuing a graduate degree may be the best option until the economy recovers. But, not all graduate degrees outperform all BA’s on employment.

All good points to keep in mind.

Study author Carnevale points that studying what you love (a.k.a. Following your Passion) is no guarantee of success. Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs spoke at “The Entertainment Gathering 2008” and addressed that same problem.

Follow your passion? What could possibly be wrong with that?

Probably the worst advice I ever got. Follow your dreams and go broke.

That’s all I heard growing up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I was told that if you follow your passion, it’s going to work out.

I can give you 30 examples right now.

Bob Combs, the pig farmer in Las Vegas who collects the uneaten scraps of food from the casinos and feeds them to his swine. Why? Because there’s so much protein in the stuff we don’t eat that they grow at twice the normal speed, and he is one rich pig farmer. And he’s good for the environment and he spends his days doing this incredible service. He smells like hell, but God bless him, he’s making a great living.

You ask him, ‘Did you follow your passion here?’ and he’d laugh at you. The guy’s worth… he just got offered 60 million for his farm and he turned it down. He didn’t follow his passion. He stepped back and watched where everyone was going and he went the other way.

And I hear that story over and over.

See Mike Rowe and the War on Work for the video. The Passion part starts at 12:00

5 January 2012 at 12:21AM Leave a comment

“Cost of Livin'” is an interview

Ronnie Dunn (formerly of the country duo Brooks and Dunn) released his “Cost of Livin'” in June, and it has been getting some airplay again in Denver. The song is one side of an interview – the candidate, an out-of-work Army veteran, is applying for a job. Dunn has captured something that seems extra real and urgent given the state of our economy.  His video makes it even more real:

Everything to know about me
Is written on this page
The number you can reach me
My social and my age
Yes, I served in the Army
It’s where I learned to shoot
Eighteen months in the desert
Pourin’ sand out of my boots.
No, I’ve never been convicted of a crime
I could start this job at any time.

I got a strong back,
steel toes
I rarely call in sick
A good truck
What I don’t know, I catch on real quick
I work weekends if I have to
Nights and holidays
Give you 40 and then some
Whatever it takes.
Three dollars and change at the pump,
Cost of livin’s high and goin’ up.

I put Robert down as a reference
He’s known me all my life
We attend the same church
He introduced me to my wife
Gave my last job everything
Before it headed south
Took the shoes off of my children’s feet
The food out of their mouths
Yesterday my folks offered to help
But they’re barely getting by themselves

I’m sure a hundred others have applied
Rumor has it you’re only takin’ five

Mr. Dunn and his co-author Mr. Coleman have a good one here.

13 October 2011 at 12:33AM Leave a comment

How NOT to help someone get a job: Capes!

If you had $73,000 of taxpayer money to spend on helping the jobless, would you spend it on superhero capes and an evil villain? Workforce Central Florida (WFCF) tried it, and watched the program blow up on them. Yahoo News had the details:


Job center blasted for giving

capes to unemployed

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida officials are investigating an unemployment agency that spent public money to give 6,000 superhero capes to the jobless.

Workforce Central Florida spent more than $14,000 on the red capes as part of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” public relations campaign. The campaign featured a cartoon character, “Dr. Evil Unemployment,” who needs to be vanquished.

Florida’s unemployment agency director asked Monday for an investigation of the regional operation’s spending after the Orlando Sentinel published a story about the program. State director Cynthia Lorenzo said the spending appeared to be “insensitive and wasteful.”

Workforce Central Florida Director Gary J. Earl defends the program, saying it is part of a greater effort to connect with the community. The agency says it served 210,000 people during its last fiscal year, placing nearly 59,000 in jobs.


The Orlando Sentinel provides more details about this program:

The budget for the campaign was $73,000, with more than $14,000 being spent on capes and almost $2,300 on the “Dr. Evil” figures. Although the agency has said that was all public money, Vice President Kimberly Sullivan on Wednesday suggested the capes were bought using cash from a non-public account. She provided no details.

Agency officials had portrayed the campaign as a fun, unusual way to engage the public. Many of Central Florida’s 116,000 unemployed saw it as juvenile or, worse yet, insulting.

Many of Florida’s unemployed let Workforce Central Florida know their feelings. The result was in this message, posted on the WFCF web page last Wednesday:

ORLANDO, Fla. – WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA has listened to the public, and will be withdrawing our admittedly out-of-the-box creative campaign, “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” later today.

Seems that Workforce Central Florida forgot about E.Mode’s First Law:

25 April 2011 at 12:42AM Leave a comment


My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.

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