Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Michigan college graduates do not have the right skills ?!? Previous Next
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 639
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 10:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?aid=/20070531/new s06/705310381

I am not entirely in agreement with the core of this story in terms of college graduates not having the right employable skills. I personally, know a few people who are in computer science, engineering, IT, biomedical and etc, without jobs for months and contemplating moving.

According to these folks, the problem is the mindset of companies and employers here. For example; when an employer needed a software developer with a background in .NET and MSSQL ..... they would not even consider an experienced developer who has worked in a different programming environment such as PHP/Python/Perl and MySQL. That is just one simple example. I have heard of many others with similar tones.

As long as employers here continue to have such a closed-minded philosophy, jobs will continue to be posted without being filled by Michigan residents.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 854
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 10:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michigan is home to one of the best engineering schools on the face of the planet. They need to figure out how to get people to WANT to stay there...
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 499
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 10:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed, the ability to learn something new is way more important in those fields than already knowing something well. Especially considering these languages are a flavor of the month and any given one may not be around very long since it is so easily and quickly replaced. In this field, you must be able to teach yourself the new skills in order to stay relevant. A person can do that is a very valuable employee, more so than someone who has 10 years experience in HTML but can't pick up CSS on their own.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 397
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 12:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The reason the job listings are so specific has to do with the way big companies hire. A technical manager can't go through a thousand resumes, so he uses the HR or personnel department as a filter. They ask him what he needs and he gives them a laundry list. Nobody fits the bill exactly so the manager complains he can't find good people.

One true and ludicrous example: I was involved with a professional society that has an online jobs board for our members. We would see listings from recruiters hiring people for GM, and among the requirements was experience using a particular thing that only GM has ever used.

So nobody was qualified to apply for that GM job except someone already had it.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 640
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 12:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ProfessorScott: Exactly the kind of mindset and practice multiplied hundreds and thousands of times over with many other companies in the region. They follow a ludicrous list to the letter, and have absolutely no intention to take their blinders off. If the job requirement says 5-years of C# experience, then someone with 4-years of C# or 7-years of C++ and Java will be excluded.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is where the problem lies - Don't blame the college graduates. Point your fingers at all these employers, big and small, who are closed-minded, short-sighted and stubborn.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 398
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've also seen advertisements where someone is looking for 5 years worth of experience in a technology that's only been around two or three years.

The article did make one point that is worth keeping, though: not enough students are taking up studies in these areas. You can graduate with a degree in Engineering, say, or Computer Science, or Nursing, and I can't guarantee you'll land a job in Detroit specifically, but if you're portable you're employable somewhere.

Ever since the dot-com collapse of the early part of this decade, parents have warned students off the computer majors, which wasn't even sensible at the time and is ridiculous now. Companies are hiring people from overseas on H-1B visas because they can't find enough people locally.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3234
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An intelligent approach to job seeking is to bypass the gatekeepers at HR. For instance, I have a first interview tomorrow with a COO in Farmington Hills for an open position of which I was unaware and didn't apply.

Also, two years ago, I was hired over the phone for a telecommuting engineering contract position at a semiconductor manufacturer in Austin and also never interviewed there directly other than email, etc. In short, there are ways around or over the HR moats, dragons, and crocodiles...
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 504
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I've also seen advertisements where someone is looking for 5 years worth of experience in a technology that's only been around two or three years. "

Haha, yeah no kidding. You can't have 10 years experience in PHP unless you are Rasmus Lerdorf.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 641
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

JohnLodge: LOL, yep, very true indeed. :-)

Many of these companies here do not know how to hire. They are not hiring 'a person', but 'a skill'. When such mentality happens in 'real life', both parties suffer in the end because 'the skill' can become obsolete very rapidly in the technology arena. And that will result in a company unable to change fast enough to meet its challenges. The result - business pace slows to a crawl and layoffs begin. The circle of stupidity just keeps on rolling. Good companies, especially versatile tech outfits in Silicon Valley and Research Triangle, NC ..... hire 'the person'. I know this because I have heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Metro Detroit employers need to change their ways, now.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3235
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The HR people in Detroit are probably doing the right things from their own points of view. They're in place to locate the occasional gem in the rough and to beat back the great hordes of the unwashed, figuratively. In a region like SE MI, there still are way too many job applicants for every available position--by a long shot.

Back to the topic--the article... Without a doubt, students tend to take the curricula of least resistance (effort needed) and wind up unemployable in today's job market. The article mentioned the percentages of those pursuing worthless degrees--even in a booming US economy.

There seem to be quite a few DY posters taking such courses as fill-in-the-blank (ethnic) studies or the urban-this-or-that field of the day... It doesn't take a rocket-science brain to ascertain that very many of these types will not locate work in those fields and will probably end up selling insurance.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 1135
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A friend who is a CAD designer wanted to pursue a Nursing Degree as that field is in high demand right now. He encountered long waiting lists to get into the colleges that offered the training and unreasonable GPA entry requirements, 3.8.

Can any one confirm or deny?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3236
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For anybody with the temperament willing to become a nurse, go for it. There are not nearly enough nursing schools for the applicants. It would be an intelligent course of action, even if put on the back burner, for when the inevitable termination occurs in his other job.

A better plan would be to arrange some sort of part-time or after-hours nursing program. Then, he still has an income.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2246
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have often heard the nursing programs around here have wait lists, not sure about the GPA requirement but that might be a temp filter due to the wait lists.
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Jfried
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Username: Jfried

Post Number: 982
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cambrian - my sister had a consistent 3.9 gpa at MSU, 3 yrs volunteer experience, and it took her 3 tries to get accepted into the nursing school. Since she has been in the program she says that she hasn't met anyone with a gpa less that 3.8. Crazy.
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3rdworldcity
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Username: 3rdworldcity

Post Number: 681
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livernoisyard: Good luck with your interview tomorrow.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 506
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 3:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes good luck LY. Try not to bring up stuff like "inevitable termination" though.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3237
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 4:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tnx...
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 1136
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 5:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to wonder why schools offering nursing degrees don't see the opportunity to make cash and make more spots available by hiring more profs, and bringing in temporary trailer classrooms, rather than making a GPA reqt of 3.8 to discourage people from applying.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3238
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 7:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Much of today's GPAs are high due to nothing other than the well-known grade-point inflation since the middle 1960s. Back in 1963, the mean GPA of graduating seniors in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin was around 2.1 or 2.2. Just goes to show how much the grading standards have vanished after the inception of AA and professor evaluations.

It's rare today for profs to issue any grades lower than a B. Most Fs today are incompletes that lapsed to Fs due to no further work afterwards.
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Jenniferl
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Username: Jenniferl

Post Number: 371
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 7:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another problem is that some people are simply not talented at math or science. I happen to be one of these folks. I've taken and earned A's in graduate-level courses in education, English, and the social sciences, but I am an absolute idiot when it comes to math. I'm pretty good in science as long as there's no math involved, but when I was an undergrad you had to pass a certain math class in order to take anything but the most basic science classes. Ditto for the computer-related courses. Thus, I never even considered a career in those fields. I've never been interested in that stuff, anyhow. I would be interested in the $$$ and the better job security, but the work itself does not appeal to me.

So how does the state of Michigan go about making engineers and computer programmers out of people whose talents, skills, and interests lie elsewhere? Is it even possible?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3239
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 7:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

So how does the state of Michigan go about making engineers and computer programmers out of people whose talents, skills, and interests lie elsewhere? Is it even possible?


If one doesn't study or have the necessary talent, do you believe that Michigan should reimpose AA and declare incompetents to become engineers and such? The US engineering colleges graduate about 75,000 engineers annually, of which only 32,000 are Americans. The rest are foreigners on student visas.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 1137
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 8:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think mathematics is that hard, rather most math profs will flat out refuse to show you how to do anything except what they feel you should be taught in that class. I've had good math profs and bad ones too. I'm taking a physics class currently at Wayne State and the teacher is an aide fresh off the air plane from Lebanon, he speaks very broken english, and the text book only shows you a fraction of what you need to know to carry out the homework's formulas. So far I'm getting A's, that's due to google more then anything though, I'll have to go online and hunt for the equations required to finish an assignment.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2722
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Off the wall question time: Just what criteria do businesses in other cities/states use when hiring, for lack of a better term "niche" employees (read: most people graduating college and those w/skills in demand but w/o college degree)?

I've come across too many examples of the brain-dead gomers who attempt to pass themselves off as HR "experts", yet can't seems to locate anyone who falls within their narrowly defined criteria when looking for employees.

Has the Detroit Area been some type of dumping ground for inept HR-types over the past few years, and only now is it becoming more noticable?
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Yvette248
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Username: Yvette248

Post Number: 538
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And one more thing, when these Fortune 500 companies do their surveys, they say the number one thing they look for are employees with great communications skills (writing and speaking). But these same companies won't hire communication majors.

What the hell is wrong with this picture???
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3241
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 12:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

But these same companies won't hire communication majors.


Literacy is assumed to accompany employable skills--not to be a substitute for them. Unfortunately, the reading and writing skills, previously expected to be learned by middle or high school, are not acquired by an increasing percentage of today's high school or college grads. Taking communication courses in college is essentially retaking high school English again (or learn it for the first time, for many).

Many of today's college grads are unemployable by being unskilled in necessary areas. That's what's wrong.

(Message edited by Livernoisyard on June 01, 2007)
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Belleislerunner
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Username: Belleislerunner

Post Number: 307
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quite often the "easiest" degrees are the ones that are least in demand by employers. For instance, in the business school, finance and accounting majors tend to be in much more demand - largely because the skill set is much more advanced than that of a management or marketing major. What skills can a "management" major provide? On the flip side, someone with an engineering, finance or economics degree can provide quantitative value while at the same time also managing subordinates. Hence, many college students get lured into degrees because they're easy A's (e.g. education,communications, management) without realizing that in a supply/demand market - those with the specialized degrees (nursing, mortuary science, engineering) make the bucks. So maybe it's not worth choosing a major just because it doesn't require a calculus class...
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 878
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Just goes to show how much the grading standards have vanished after the inception of AA and professor evaluations. "

Affirmative Action has nothing to do with the grade inflations and you're an idiot to even imply such a thing.

(Message edited by iheartthed on June 01, 2007)
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3243
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

AA was interjected by me as a possible response to demonstrate how the poster believed that the state of Michigan was expected to somehow "graduate" more engineers. AA does not need to be based upon race, and wasn't in my use of it. Get on with the program and don't be so narrowly preoccupied on race.

It was meant to show that it's ridiculous to expect the local, state, and federal governments to solve "problems" that are caused by lazy Americans, who are becoming more and more illiterate and unskilled.

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