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Student Sues University Because She's Unemployable 1251

Posted by kdawson
from the want-fries-with-that dept.
digitalhermit writes "A C student (not the programming language) has sued her former school because she has been unable to find a job in the three months since her graduation. Yup, some schools are degree mills, but this just seems... bizarre."
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Student Sues University Because She's Unemployable

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  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:41AM (#28938045) Journal

    As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record. But Monroe's career-services department has put forth insufficient effort to help her secure employment, she claims.

    "They're supposed to say, 'I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right -- can you interview this person?' They're not doing that," she said.

    Words fail me (briefly).

    The best thing to come out of this story is that Ms. Thompson has sent out a nice big red-flag warning to any potential employers not to touch her with a barge pole. After all, if she does this, you can pretty much guarantee she'll sue her employer the moment she gets passed over for a promotion (after all, she shows up for work most days and her last project wasn't a total disaster).

    "It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned."

    It might not be what they planned, but it is the reality of the job market. The huge expansion in higher education, along with widespread dumbing down of course material and grade inflation, has created a market where many apparently middling graduates just aren't going to have a chance at getting a job that genuinely requires graduate skills. A lot of students who 20 years ago would have been considered middling (but would have gone on to get graduate-level jobs) are now clustered around the top of the class.

    At the same time, the self-esteem and all-must-have-prizes philosophies that now pervade much of education have convinced everybody that they deserve to walk right into their dream job, just because they've done nothing more than show up for class and turn in assignments most of the time. The entitlement mentality is right out on show in this story. I do a fair bit of recruitment for my employer and I see plenty more applicants who seem to feel the same way. They don't get very far.

    There is an unfortunate side to this. A lot of teens and their parents are still duped into believing that a degree will still lead to a guaranteed "good" job. There's plenty of material out there to counter-act this view and show that in many (possibly even now a majority) of cases, it's a waste of time and money. Unfortunately, this usually gets dismissed as right wing ranting (which I will no doubt get accused of in the replies to this post). The other unfortunate side is that some employers with vacancies that could be filled by a bright high-school graduate seem to feel the need to advertise for a graduate just to "keep up with the Jonses", though I've noticed a slight reversal of this trend recently.

    I'd advise Ms. Thompson that with her achievements and attitude, she needs to lower her expectations. She mentions McDonalds sneeringly, but the fact is that they have a general corporate policy of promoting most of their talent internally. If she is as capable as she thinks she is and went to work there with the intention of proving herself (and the attitude to match), she could have a perfectly reasonable career. The same is true of any number of other employers that she probably considers below her social status. Of course, she won't.

    • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:53AM (#28938097)

      "just because they've done nothing more than show up for class and turn in assignments most of the time."

      That was what I did.

      But then I have natural wit and charm, a willingness to admit I slacked off at university, plus I did computer science. Little miss entitlement got a "Bachelor of Business Administration" in "IT". What the hell does that even mean?

      • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:19AM (#28938235) Homepage Journal
        That she expects to earn a large amount of money by being immediately put into a "management" position and paid vast sums of money solely due to the fact that she is such a wonderful person and "deserves" to be a manager with a large salary.

        God, the sense of entitlement in the US is making me sick...
        • by Xenographic (557057) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:51AM (#28938849) Homepage Journal

          > That she expects to earn a large amount of money by being immediately put into a "management" position and paid vast sums of money solely due to the fact that she is such a wonderful person and "deserves" to be a manager with a large salary.

          What are you talking about? Any half-competent career services department should be able to see that anyone that lawsuit-happy who has that big of a sense of entitlement has a bright future at the RIAA (or any of the other MAFIAA franchises).

          This is just a simple matter of matching up the person's personality and skill set to the right organization...

    • by Kokuyo (549451) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:22AM (#28938259) Journal

      Not that I'm American, but when and how DO you get to your dream job?

      In this country, you can do an apprenticeship in just about anything. So I went into IT. I was good in school (top five of the class) and I showed above average skills in whatever I was doing.

      I'm at my third job now. Let's skip how good or bad that one is and just get to what's interesting to me at the moment: Looking for a job. Personally, I'm a guy who is honest about what he can and can not do. I somehow convinced myself that good jobs cannot be had through lying because hey, if you had to lie to get it, can you expect an honest work environment? Either they overstated their requirements and you CAN do the job (but then what else are they going to expect from you that is not part of the job?) OR they were serious, you CAN'T do the job and what then?

      For all three jobs, I've been working for sub-standard wage (meaning my salary was somewhere between 50% and 75% of what my work was worth), did unpaid overtime and was generally reachable at all times. I did not have the means to get certification and the companies had no interest in me having them.

      So now I'm hearing "Well, for someone in IT, you did remarkably little certification". Or what about "Ah, so you wouldn't call yourself a geniusHmm..."?

      Fact remains that doing honest and hard work brings you NOTHING. You must be a quack, a liar and just basically leech everything out of the company that you possibly can. Then you go to the next and rinse and repeat. It's what the managers do and it's what is expected of you. Being a carpenter is starting to sound bloody perfect just about now.

      • by beringreenbear (949867) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:22AM (#28938613) Journal

        You bored me. And if that's the face you show to an employer, you bored him, too.

        First of all, go ahead and sit for the certifications. If you are at all good at what you do, you'll pass them.

        Second, you don't have to lie, but you do have to tell a story; a compelling narrative. I am not interested, as an employer, in whinny stories of how hard you worked, or how you worked for depressed wages and unpaid overtime. In fact, that that does tell me as an employer is that if I need cheap help,you're probably going to be a pushover for the job. What you have to tell me is what you did. What you accomplished.

        I was recently unemployed for five months. I learned to get good at telling my story. I went through countless drafts of my c.v. and presentation. I learned to adapt to fit in whatever situation I was in. And I knew my worth. It is possible to succeed, but you have to be diligent and compelling.

        And finally, forget about this "dream job" thing. Unless you are in business for yourself and successful. You will never find a "dream job" working for someone else.

      • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:51AM (#28938833)

        I recommend reading this article: How to do what you love [paulgraham.com]. There is a lot of truth in it. Getting your dream job is a matter of persistence, being willing to apply to companies, building contacts, and realising that you are unlikely to end up in your dream job straight away, it takes years of working towards the goal before it comes within reach:

        • I know lots of people who are not willing to relocate - this is a big problem, because their dream jobs generally aren't in the place they currently live. I know a handful of people who've actually been willing to relocate their entire lives for their career, whether it is moving across the country, or to another (off the top of my head, I have friends who relocated to Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Switzerland, Singapore, New York..). In every case, relocating brought them a slightly better job initially, and a hugely better job 5 years later. In contrast, I know a lot of people who graduated in their home cities, stayed there, and complain constantly about their jobs.
        • I know one guy who always wanted to work in Formula 1. He got an engineering degree, but there are tens of thousands of people with those who want to work in F1, and who have more experience. He then worked for a standard engineering company for a few years, whilst writing applications to any company involved in the automotive trade. He also travelled, met some guys who ran their own small teams, made contacts, offered to work for free during his summers, etc. Eventually he got taken on by a tier 1 automotive company, and from that point he managed to work his way from an engineer up to senior management within 8 years. Now, he still isn't doing what he wants to do, but he still has his goal, he has better contacts than he's ever had, and he has years of experience to call on. He isn't there yet, and may never get there, but at least he has maximised the probability that his goal will be achieved. How many of the rest of us can say that?

        Fact remains that doing honest and hard work brings you NOTHING. You must be a quack, a liar and just basically leech everything out of the company that you possibly can.

        Sounds like you're working for large corporations where that kind of behaviour can go unchecked. In a small company, you'd be thrown out very quickly.

      • by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:57AM (#28938903)

        Fact remains that doing honest and hard work brings you NOTHING. You must be a quack, a liar and just basically leech everything out of the company that you possibly can. Then you go to the next and rinse and repeat. It's what the managers do and it's what is expected of you. Being a carpenter is starting to sound bloody perfect just about now.

        I've learned that on my first year in this profession (also IT).

        The belief that many of us gifted "techies" have that technical excellence, skill and hard-working will make us stand out from the mediocre crowds, be noticed and promoted is one big fat illusion more often than not kept alive by manipulative managers wanting to get extra free hours from us (so that THEY get fat bonuses).

        Even in the technical areas, the professional world out there is never a pure meritocracy based on one's technical excellence.

        In truth, non-technical skills are often also important (guess who's more useful: the guy that gets the requirements right from the client and implements them in a competent way or the guy that gets the wrong requirements and implements the wrong thing but with an exceptionally good design and code?) and those that evaluate one's abilities during the selection/bonus-evaluation/promotion-evaluation process are often not technically skilled enough to evaluate technical skills above a certain level (they're management, usually not technical, not-good enough techies or simply too far out from their technical days) or will simply outwit the less negotiation-experience techies into taking a lower pay.

        Consider the simple example of two equally good programmers:
        - One is quiet and reserved: the kind of guy that finds a critical bug, fixes it and checks it in source control without telling anybody
        - The other one is loud and outgoing: he'll tell to whomever is willing to listen that he found a critical bug, proceed to fix it and check the fix in source control and then let everybody know that the issue is fixed.

        Guess who will get the next promotion!!!?

        Another example would be two equally good programmers, both known in their company for the quality of their work. They both feel that they are being underpaid in their company:
        - One starts looking at other opportunities, maybe gets one or two good proposals, goes to management and asks for a salary raise saying that he "likes to work there but feels that he's not being fairly rewarded for the work he's doing there versus other professionals in the same area".
        - The other one just accepts its and wallows in the misery of being underpaid.

        Guess who will get the (biggest) raise!!!?

        In the end, the secret to success in IT is still down to soft-skills such as self-promotion, image management, networking, pro-activeness, a willingness to take risks and others. Just look up the definition of EQ (Emotional Quotient, similar to IQ but measuring something else) - it's much correlated with success than IQ, and you will find that the characteristics that are evaluated to determine EQ are very much the kind of thing that make it easier for one to follow the path to success.

        • by SloppyElvis (450156) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @12:25PM (#28942887)

          be noticed and promoted is one big fat illusion more often than not kept alive by manipulative managers wanting to get extra free hours from us (so that THEY get fat bonuses)

          The resentment of management is so thick in this forum you could cut it with a knife.

          The mid-level manager gains from promoting successful people up the corporate ladder. Managers are graded on their ability to build an effective team and recruit/develop high performing talent. An effective manager knows to provide the top people with the tools and environment they need to do their best. While it is true that the promotion carrot is often dangled to push someone harder, only a lousy manager believes they can dangle carrots without coming through on their end. We have an engineer on the team right now who was told he'd get a promotion if he took the role of lead engineer on a recent project and succeeded. He worked hard, impressed his teammates with his skill and ethic, and earned the promotion. That is no illusion. He was given an opportunity and he took it.

          You've observed that outgoing type A's get noticed and are promoted more frequently than technical experts. I do agree with this (to some extent) having seen that the road to "Staff Engineer" is longer than the road to "Engineering Manager". There are basically two career paths for engineers: technical and management. The technical path is ascended by demonstrating technical expertise, the ability to guide large scale projects from the technical side, and the ability to mentor less experienced engineers. The quiet and reserved person can and will ascend through this path by demonstrating their technical ability, and accomplishing this takes years of good work. A quiet and reserved person who is also skilled at mentoring young engineers is perhaps more promotable due to the high demand and greater contribution a mentor can bring to the organization. On the management path, outgoing individuals tend to be noticed more for their management potential. A large part of a manager's job is working with other managers and reporting to executives, the majority of which are themselves open and outgoing. Likewise, a successful manager needs to be able to effectively work with people of varied personalities, some of which reserved people find reprehensible. On a similar note, negotiating for pay also demonstrates a skill a manager needs to have. The manager is graded on their ability to negotiate to get the best value for the company and not having the ability to negotiate will hurt their chances of being successful managers. For these reasons, outgoing people shining a light on their work are showing skills of a different sort, and may be promotable based partly on that display which you regard as purely superficial.

          When a person earns a senior technical position, it is reasonably certain that they will succeed in this appointment. They can succeed in these positions for many years and have great careers all the way up to retirement, all the while mentoring the next batch of experts. On the other hand, when a person earns a management position, there is no guarantee that they will succeed, and most of them will probably fail (perhaps by committing the ills you've indicated in your post). Then they will either leave or be canned, opening positions for the next batch of potential managers. This is one driving reason for outgoing people to be more frequently promoted.

          My advice would be for a person to examine what it is they want out of their career. "Success" doesn't equate to happiness, and if you've sacrificed your personality in efforts to gain pay, you have little chance at happiness in your career. If you aren't going to claim credit for everything based on your principles and your personality, then by all means stick with your principles a go about quietly getting the job done. In a well-functioning organization, real accomplishments do not go unnoticed, and there will always be a place for unassuming technical experts.

    • by pjt33 (739471) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:30AM (#28938295)

      Notice that this story is in the Entertainment section? You're supposed to point and laugh.

    • A lot of teens and their parents are still duped into believing that a degree will still lead to a guaranteed "good" job.

      The big problem here is that society at large has come to view universities and higher education in general as advanced vocational training. The trouble is, the universities themselves have no such delusion.

      In short, it is impossible for universities to provide vocational training for professions. There are too many jobs, too many ways of doing them, and too many changes in practices in every single profession for any one institution to have a ghost of chance of keeping up with all of them.

      Now, there is some element of "job training" in higher education, but only in an academic sense. You can be taught about binary trees and methods to search them in a university course, but there simply isn't time to train you in how to use the IDE, language and indeed operating system that you will be asked to implement those searches by your employer. And computer science courses are in fact VERY vocational as courses go. Most engineering course will only be able to teach you how to use a bandsaw and AutoCAD. Small use when you have to use the latest tabletop wonder from Hansvedt.

      At the end of the day, final training for a job must be done by employers. Unfortunately, many skimp on this and complain that Universities aren't doing their job. HR departments demand experience not because they believe it will provide quality, but because the company does not want to go to the bother of expense of actually passing on skills. Yes, Graduates do come out of universities will few "real world" skills. But this has always been the case. What has changed is a fickle employment culture in which companies hire and fire at will and thus cannot risk training someone only to see them run off at a moments notice for a higher paid position.

      There's plenty of material out there to counter-act this view and show that in many (possibly even now a majority) of cases, it's a waste of time and money.

      I wouldn't go quite so far. It is true that certain courses can be difficult to get a job out of, but it's also true that not taking any course can make it very difficult to get a well paid, and indeed fulfilling job. A university course should be chosen for two reasons; Interest in the subject, and the prospect of a vocation. Both are important. If people choose wisely and put in the effort, their time spent in university will be far from a waste of time and money, and indeed will be time well spent and very well rewarded. Fours years of good education will allow you to hold your own in your chosen field, and prepare you for a changing world and workplace. This is not guaranteed, but the odds are certainly in your favour.

    • by something_wicked_thi (918168) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:41AM (#28938359)

      There is an unfortunate side to this. A lot of teens and their parents are still duped into believing that a degree will still lead to a guaranteed "good" job. There's plenty of material out there to counter-act this view and show that in many (possibly even now a majority) of cases, it's a waste of time and money. Unfortunately, this usually gets dismissed as right wing ranting

      Don't be silly. Right wing ranting? I'm as left wing as they come, barring communists, and I think that makes perfect sense. Get a degree in something useful if you want a job. It's really as simple as that.

      That said, I do take issue with the "2.7 GPA" part of this. GPAs are overrated. Anyone who interviews with me (I do interviews, I don't own the place) is going to get no brownie points for "perfect attendance", but I don't give a damn what her GPA is. If she can answer my questions well, she'll get a job. If she can't, she won't.

      • by SunTzuWarmaster (930093) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:50AM (#28938825) Homepage

        She suggested that Monroe's Office of Career Advancement shows preferential treatment to students with excellent grades. "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement," she said.

        Damn straight. The university helps what they percieve to be good students find jobs in preference to percieved bad students. Your university is not altruistic, and wants to spread the message that it has good people.

        In her complaint, Thompson says she seeks $70,000 in reimbursement for her tuition and $2,000 to compensate for the stress of her three-month job search.

        ... And she is also sueing them because 'life is hard'. COME ON.

        Her resume says "I have no internship or experience".

        Her GPA says that she got more C's than D's, and more D's than B's.

        One of these is okay (C student because of a 30+ hour/week intership, or an A student that neglected experience is a okay hire).

        If she can answer my questions well, she'll get a job. If she can't, she won't.

        She can't, she ain't getting a job, and she is SUEING the university for it.

        Really?

      • by tburkhol (121842) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @08:03AM (#28938959)

        Get a degree in something useful if you want a job. It's really as simple as that

        This is exactly the theory under which community colleges like Monroe name their degrees. This gal has a 2-year associate's degree called "Bachelor of Business Administration" Compare that with a degree in "Computer Technology" or "Industrial Engineering Technology." The names are very similar to four year degrees. A naive 20 year old is susceptible to the line that you can get the skills employers want to work in [impressive field] with salaries up to $50,000, in a business-friendly environment; that by cutting out extraneous classes like English and History, you can graduate in just 2 years rather than 4. If they don't have someone there to point out that "Engineering Technology" is different than "Engineering" or that "Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information" is different than "Bachelor of Science in Business Administration," they can end up buying something very different than what they expected.

        CC can be a good option. An AS or AA can definitely be a step towards a better career, and can provide a useful skill set, but it's a different route than a four year degree, and I don't think that distinction is always made clear to potential students.

  • by justcauseisjustthat (1150803) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:45AM (#28938059)
    That will teach them for advertising that they help everyone find a job :-)
  • oh sit down and stfu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by novastar123 (540269) <cc_viper2000@ y a h o o .com> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:49AM (#28938071) Homepage

    I can understand her anger at not being able to find a job,
    and yeah, pretty much all collages help graduates find jobs, but FFS, she should have picked a better major.
    I'm a geek, and I wont even go into a computer sciences or information tech, field, there are 10 times as many
    applicants than their are job openings in that field. 10 years ago, anyone with an IT or Comp Sci degree would
    get hired on the spot, these days, you might as well have a liberal arts degree.

    • by Alarindris (1253418) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:56AM (#28938125)

      pretty much all collages help graduates find jobs

      Are you serious? Shit! I knew I should have listened to my mom when she told me to save all of my artwork from elementary school.

  • by CountBrass (590228) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:49AM (#28938077)
    It's obvious that as the entitlement generation grows up we'll see more of this: "I should get a job even though I'm mediocre at what I do and if I don't then I should be able to sue someone".

    Let's hope she gets laughed out of court.
    • by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:28AM (#28938665)

      It's obvious that as the entitlement generation grows up we'll see more of this: "I should get a job even though I'm mediocre at what I do and if I don't then I should be able to sue someone".

      Let's hope she gets laughed out of court.

      The applicants are not the only ones who feel "entitled".

      Employers, especially larger ones, feel "entitled" to canned labor without job training.

      The employer equivalent of your quoted statement is: "I should get skilled labor even though I don't want to invest one cent in training or orientation, and if I don't i'll blame the colleges and call the applicants selfish and 'entitled'"

    • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:29AM (#28938671) Journal

      "Let's hope she gets laughed out of court."

      Maybe if she doesn't, we should sue?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:50AM (#28938079)

    Obviously this woman doesn't have a case, but it's still not that hard to sympathise with people who are being pushed into higher education on the back of all the "you must have a degree to get a good job" and "knowledge-based economy" bullshit that's put about these days. Most of these folks would be better off learning an honest trade.

  • by orzetto (545509) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:50AM (#28938085)

    Can anyone explain what is a C in the US in the percentile range? Is this synonymous with miserable failure? What about the reputation of Monroe College?

    Is she an average or plain-awful student?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:55AM (#28938105)

      For UK folks, it's equivalent to a low 2:2, and approaches a third.

    • by CountBrass (590228) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:02AM (#28938155)
      Someone who attends an honours course and is awarded an ordinary degree: i.e. you didn't fail spectacularly and you showed up to lectures so we'll give you a piece of paper.
    • by xlsior (524145) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:09AM (#28938187) Homepage
      Can anyone explain what is a C in the US in the percentile range? Is this synonymous with miserable failure? What about the reputation of Monroe College?

      A 'c' encompasses a range of scores - the GPA (Grade Point Average) is more telling.

      The highest GPA you can get (with 100% marks on everything) is 4.0.
      The national average GPA for college graduates is 3.2 (according to a quick google search)
      She got a 2.7, which while not horribly bad, definitely puts her below average.

      Never heard of Monroe college.
    • by drhamad (868567) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:39AM (#28940107)
      A "C" is theoretically average, but whether or not that's true in practice varies widely. Most schools don't fail a high percentage of people, so a C ends up being towards the bottom.

      That being said, unless I'm missing something here, a 2.7 is a B-, not a C. Some schools don't have a +/- system, but in that case it's still well above a base-line C.

      A: 4.0
      A-: 3.7
      B+: 3.3
      B: 3.0
      B-: 2.7
      C+: 2.3
      C: 2.0
      C-: 1.7
      D: 1.0
      F: 0


      If there's no +/- system, it's just 4/3/2/1/0.
      As for Monroe College... I live in the area, and I've never heard of it (or at least, know nothing about it). Some local school, I guess. Certainly not a regionally, nationally or internationally known one.
  • Epic fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tx (96709) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:50AM (#28938087) Journal

    I really hope this chick loses the case, and gets saddled with a bunch of court costs to add to her student loans, that way nobody will ever try anything so stupid again. Three month job-hunt? In this economy? College education is no guarantee of a job, and if you can't sell yourself, you're going to be unemployed for a lot longer than that. Your college can't convince employers to give you a job, they can provide some contacts and resources to help you, but that's it.

    • Re:Epic fail (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quadrox (1174915) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:34AM (#28938317)

      To be fair, while it is tempting to put the blame squarely on her shoulders, it is probably not her own fault that she grew up with such a sense of entitlement.

      Her family/school are likely very much to blame though, for not teaching her how the world works.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:08AM (#28938523)

      This idea that some (many?) students have that a degree is all they should need to be the ideal candidate. Ummmm, no, not so much. You ought to be smart enough to notice that what you are being taught is highly theoretical in nature. Universities aren't tech schools, they aren't teaching you specific skills needed for specific jobs, they are institutions of higher education and research. They deal heavily in the theoretical. This is quite noticeable if you pay any attention in class at all.

      Thus, you should take something away from this: The university isn't giving me all I need to be an ideal job candidate. Practical experience is something you need to go and get on your own. My recommendation, especially for IT, is to get a job on campus doing just that. Now I'm a little biased, I work professionally doing IT on campus so we hire students. However, it is a good way to get some extra money and a great way to get some practical experience. All in all, it seems to work out ok for our students. They seem to go on to get jobs. Heck one guy got his bachelors in computer engineering, went on to another school and got his masters, then decided "Know what? I don't really want to be an engineer, I want to do support," and went to work as a support guy. While they appreciated the masters degree, they cared more about his time spent as a support guy.

      For tech stuff I recommend university jobs since there seem to be plenty of them, and they have no problem hiring students, of course. A student position must, by definition, be filled by a student of the university. Universities also like student positions since they are cheap. However there's other places you can look at, or internships, or perhaps even just working on projects on your own time. Whatever, the point is to try and get some real, practical experience, not just a good theoretical education.

      Also it really annoys me the idea that some graduates have that they should get a "high level" position. Ummmm, no. You have little experience, that is the definition of entry level. The idea that you'd start out in a higher level job is rather silly. After all, if a BS did that, then the majority of people would be starting out in high level jobs, making them not high level. If you are a new graduate, well then accept the fact that you are at the "entry level" of the work force. Goes double if this is your first job period.

    • Re:Epic fail (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ari_j (90255) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:27AM (#28939939)
      Agreed. Three months of searching for a job is nothing. When I got my C.Sci degree, I spent 3 months searching for a job across 2 states. Finding none, I moved across the country and searched another 3 months. I finally found a job doing IT for a bank and took it, spending all available downtime looking for a better job for the next 9 months. After 15 months of unsuccessful pavement-pounding, I had a decision to make: I could either wait out the economy a bit in my shitty IT job or I could change my career path.

      So many people claim they have "tried" things. Tried to find a job. Tried to make a marriage work. Tried to resolve family conflicts. Tried, my ass. If you have not actively done something for at least a year, you have not tried it any more than dipping your toes in the water and crying aloud about how cold it is constitutes trying to swim.
  • by pehrs (690959) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:54AM (#28938099)

    Somehow, many students have the illusion that a degree will bring them to the top automagically. It doesn't work that way. Getting a degree is a good step forward... If they work hard in the university and actually learn. Then they will have to start 3 (or 5) years later in the job market, meaning they will lack many important skills no university teaches and therefor earn less. Even if they learn quickly it takes years to catch up (both in attractiveness on the job market and salary) with those that got into the same field without an university education.

    This is true in most fields (including Engineering), but especially true in business administration and management.

    The true value of the university education comes after a few years, because many companies have internal rules about giving priority to educated workers. Often there is a hard celing on how far you can get without a master, and it's not unusual for people to go back and get a MBA not only because they need the skills, but also because they need the diploma to continue their career. Some companies even pays for those MBA's to their management.

    • by Spad (470073) <slashdotNO@SPAMspad.co.uk> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:21AM (#28938251) Homepage

      It doesn't help that, in my case at least, I was told by pretty much everyone from highschool teachers, through careers advisors and university staff that "a Degree will bring me to the top automagically" - I wasn't exactly convinced, but when everyone's telling you that it's easy to buy into the hype.

      Then you leave university and end up in the real world where you either a) Realise it was all a load of bollocks and get on with your life or b) Get all bitter about it as this woman appears to have done.

  • Funny stuff (Score:5, Funny)

    by e2d2 (115622) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:56AM (#28938121)

    This is funny because just the other day I was talking with my mother, a director of hiring at a large telco, and she was talking about how the young people she brings in feel entitled.

    I told her I agreed, then asked if I could borrow $25. When she said no I wrote the local paper exposing the BULLSHIT THAT THIS IS!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:09AM (#28940511)

      They want the best workers but want to be "competitive" with salaries.

      Whilst they want the best CEO and pay out the nose for it.

      They want "at will" employment yet eternal loyalty from the employees.

      They want to fire you and not pay you but don't want you working for anyone else.

  • by hopopee (859193) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:03AM (#28938163)

    if you don't have any previous work history in a field. I'll freely admit I got both of my IT jobs by referrals from friends and acquaintances already working in the companies.

    University/College studies are as much about networking as they are about learning. I spent most of my years in University in our student relaxing room playing boardgames and arguing with fellow students and faculty members. Now people who graduated years before me and have achieved higher positions in companies know me or are my friends and have a good understanding on how I fit in teams/groups. And since we mostly argued about our studies at hand they know that even though my grades weren't top notch I knew my stuff.

    Of course this doesn't work at all if you're an asshole. You have to stand out somehow, but red flagging yourself for good by suing your school for your own failures is about the worst thing you could possibly do.

  • Motivation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:15AM (#28938211) Journal

    If she's so motivated to sue someone because "she doesn't get what she wants," why doesn't she use her business degree and start her own business. Find a niche and go with it. It will be more rewarding. The downside, based upon her attitude, is that the only person she could blame then is herself. Unless she sues the customers of the world for not buying her product/service.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:32AM (#28938297)

    Maybe next time they'll think before running a subject called "How to sue people for profit"

  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:36AM (#28938329)

    For not teaching her about how stupid it is to file frivolous lawsuits.

  • by catsidhe (454589) <catsidhe@gmailWELTY.com minus author> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:49AM (#28938397) Homepage

    If advertising didn't work, there wouldn't be so much of it.

    Universities in .au, probably elsewhere as well, have been selling themselves increasingly for their job training and less for the concept of a liberal education for decades now.

    Only a few go to university now to be simply educated, most are going to uni To Get A Job: it is an almost compulsory step between high school and any professional job. And most technical jobs. I wonder sometimes when more universities will go into more trade training, trying to steal business from technical schools. (As opposed to places like RMIT and Swinburn going the other way: technical colleges who became universities.)

    And so, when university is sold as something which will get you a job, these expectations are built. Reasonably or not. (In my opinion, not.) But the trend is there, nonetheless.

    A University education has gone from something needed for certain jobs, to something needed for certain classes of work, to a sine-qua-non of employment in entire sections of the workforce. And the universities have been competing with each other to advertise how good they are at giving an education which improves the student's chances of getting a job â" a good job, a desirable job â" advertising which might give the impression that such a job is practically guaranteed: that you go to this uni or that one not because of the education you get, but because of the job you are all but promised to walk into when you graduate. (Before you graduate, even, with graduate placements and the like.)

    Personally, I think the uni sector would be better off selling the quality of the education itself, rather than expectations of the utilitarian results.

    But I only work for a university, and as professional staff at that, so there is no hope that my opinion carries the slightest weight whatsoever.

  • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:57AM (#28938437)

    She suggested that Monroe's Office of Career Advancement shows preferential treatment to students with excellent grades. "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement," she said.

    You had a 2.7 GPA, with a "bachelor of business administration degree in information technology", and a "solid attendance record".

    Okay, Trina, you've probably never heard this before, but I'll be frank. Those people with 4.0 GPAs are all probably much smarter than you are. If you had, say, a 3.5 GPA (and perhaps a more serious degree), that might not be the case. It makes sense for people to give them preferential treatment when it comes to employment in jobs that require intelligence and skills specific to their fields.

    Considering that you're so lacking in integrity and responsibility that you decided to sue the school because you couldn't find an employer, I'll go out on a limb and say that those people are --in all honesty-- better than you. Had you not responded with such a childish action, I might hesitate to say that. Alas, that is not the case.

    If you're unhappy with this, too bad. You can try harder, but now that you've made an ass out of yourself on national news, I don't think you'll convince anyone otherwise.

    Now, try not to go get pregnant a dozen times.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:59AM (#28938449)

    A lot of people seem to think this is about her sense of entitlement - I'm not so sure. I suspect this is more about her moral character, or lack thereof. While I realize there is a lawyer boogeyman conservatives like to drag out whenever an apparently frivolous lawsuit makes the news, there are definitely a few people whose first thoughts immediately jump to lawsuits and "how much can I get?" at even the slightest hint of perceived wrong (which, in this case, I guess does boil down to a sense of entitlement after all). We can blame the lawyers, and I often do; but for each case like this there's also a willing client who's only thought is one regarding money.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:03AM (#28938477)

    "...As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record..."

    She's got it backwards. Aquarium algae can get a 2.0 GPA with a little training. If all the poor, dumb little chit can manage is a 2.7, then she'd be better off claiming she skipped two thirds of her classes and spent the whole last term drunk. At least that way, an employer might think she had brains and a commitment to doing the job right.

  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:41AM (#28938765)
    Ok -- this girl is a brat, I will not for a second say that she is not. I will not, however, immediately dismiss this lawsuit as being frivolous -- a lot of schools advertise heavily on their job placement programs. If she chose to attend this school, and she chose to give them tens of thousands of dollars on a promise that they would offer her a great deal of help in finding a job upon graduation, then she certainly does have a right to be upset about, as that is blatant false advertising. I know how this thing works from experience -- the school I attended (which shall remain nameless) made a huge to-do about their career assistance programs before I chose to attend and rack up $40,000 in debt. Upon graduation, I realized that their career placement was not much more than what I would have gotten off of monster.com. Granted, I was not dumb enough to depend on this and found work on my own, but I do feel ripped off.
    The bottom line is, if you are going to advertise a particular service, you had better be prepared to put your money where your mouth is.* These schools need to learn that they cannot get away with making false promises to get you in the door, it is false advertising, and is nothing less than grand larceny.

    *I know very well that this is likely not the case, it seems that she is more upset that she still doesn't have a job DESPITE the services being offered -- if the school is living up to their end of the bargain this girl is just an idiot, as opposed to being an idiot with a legitimate complaint. Regardless of whether or not the school is providing the necessary services, she is a 'tard for expecting to have a job 4 months after graduation with a 2.7 GPA, and even more of a 'tard for relying solely on the school's career placement to help her, as everyone knows that they are generally bullshit. This will not work out well for her, but if she is successful, it could work out well for future students in giving schools a bit more incentive to be honest.
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:57AM (#28938899)

    So, let me get this straight. A graduate from a [insert random no-name college here] obtains a [rather generic, non-specific] degree in "IT", and automagically expects to be hired in 3 months or less?

    Forget economy or GPA for a second, what the hell ever happened to getting your damn feet wet in IT outside of a fucking classroom?

    You want someone to hire you? Drop the ego and intern for a short while. Find out how good you are in the real world before you start assuming a piece of paper is your automagic meal ticket. Might also want to pick up a newspaper every now and then to see how long it's taking the average job with experience to land a job.

  • by hardihoot (1044510) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @08:02AM (#28938945)

    You been tellin' me you're a genius
    Since you were seventeen
    In all the time I've known you
    I still don't know what you mean
    The weekend at the college
    Didn't turn out like you planned
    The things that pass for knowledge
    I can't understand

    --Reelin' In the Years by Steely Dan

  • by portnoy (16520) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @08:10AM (#28939005) Homepage

    Just found this article [theskichannel.com] in which the "Ski Channel" is going to offer her a job:

    "Either Ms Thompson is a cunning out of the box thinker and we want her," said Bellamy, "or she isn't, and her position would not last long. Either way, the law suit would no longer be clogging up the courts because there are now no damages."

  • by wbren (682133) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @08:11AM (#28939015) Homepage

    Whenever I read a headline like this I think to myself, "Alright, some jackass is trying to get a bunch of attention. Surely there must be more to this story."
     

    Imagine my surprise when I realized that, no, the title is 100% accurate. Amazing.

  • by cherokee158 (701472) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:16AM (#28939773)

    I imagine her expectations were unrealistic, but why is everyone so quick to condemn this girl? Why is it unreasonable to live in the wealthiest country in the world and expect to be able to find gainful employment? When you finish paying out tens of thousands of dollars for a college education, don't you expect to find better work than the local Walmart? If not, then why would you risk carrying so much debt?

    Does it help you to sleep better at night telling yourself that ALL the unemployed or underemployed people in this country richly deserve it?

    Kind of ironic coming from the crowd that has been working feverishly to develop machines that can replace human labor in a wide variety of jobs.

  • Two Things (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @03:20PM (#28945947) Homepage Journal
    1) A degree does not guarantee employment and I have never seen an academic institution that made the claim that it did.

    2) "I can't give you a brain, so I'll give you a diploma" - The Wizard of Oz

    As an aside, it has fallen to me on more than one occasion to interview prospective candidates for positions on my teams. The more I have done so, the more I've come to realize that a degree also doesn't guarantee that the candidate will know anything or be a good employee. As such, I tend to value the attitude of the candidate to my questions, his work experience and contributions to projects such as open source projects over a piece of paper that tells me he's reasonably good at memorizing facts (or cheating.) I am fairly certain that if anyone approaches the interview with a positive attitude and engages the interviewer rather than just sitting there like a cabbage or something, they will have a very good chance of landing the job. A lot of people come to the interview with the attitude that it's a chore they'd rather not have to do, and trust me on this that attitude comes through very clearly during the interview. And if you're going to be like that during the interview, odds are you're going to be like that on the job as well.

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