[FoRK] 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Thu Oct 28 16:04:32 PDT 2010


I agree and strongly relate to what you said and what you implied.

Around here there is a resurgence in what we in Canada call "community colleges" or "technical institutes". The kids -- and some of the parents -- are catching onto the fact that the really good paying and relatively secure jobs are not being found out of University.

We see that same phenomenon in our universities as staff and classes for the traditional liberal arts programs are being cut left and right. It is happening in a huge way in the UK right now and is just beginning here in Canada. The focus now is on the business and technical tracks.

But our community colleges have been doing that for decades, do it far better and in a shorter time at less cost.

I was an IT manager for the last twenty years of my professional career (a developer for the first ten) so I saw the evolution of a huge percentage of jobs in the telco transition from requiring some secondary education to graduation from grade 12 to some post-secondary prefered to, now, requiring a university degree.

For the same damn job!!!  The only thing changed in the job descriptions (or the work requirements), in so many cases, is the educational requirement.

Often it doesn't matter what degree you have as long as you have one. It doesn't matter because any decent grade 9 student could do as good a job with as short a learning curve.

It's an "evolution" that, even though I wrote dozens of job descriptions and hired dozens of people, to this day I don't understand. Even when I was forced to eliminate the possibility of hiring those with IT diplomas from colleges, and could only hire university CS degrees, I was never given an explanation that made any sense.

 .... Well ... there is the issue that today you generally have to hire someone with at least a year at university if you want someone who is semi-literate (they spend the first year in remedial classes, like English 100, so they can learn to read and write with at least some modest facility). But that's a whole other can of educational worms....

        ...ken...


--- On Thu, 10/28/10, Adam L Beberg <beberg at mithral.com> wrote:

> From: Adam L Beberg <beberg at mithral.com>
> Subject: Re: [FoRK] 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s
> To: "Friends of Rohit Khare" <fork at xent.com>
> Received: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 4:35 PM
> Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote on
> 10/27/2010 1:18 PM:
> > --- On Wed, 10/27/10, Jim Whitehead<ejw at cs.ucsc.edu> wrote:
> > 
> >> 
> >> Also, typically teaching-only positions at top
> schools are
> >> not tenure track.
> 
> At good institutions, there are still tenure-equivalent
> track jobs. But they are disappearing fast.
> 
> > And isn't that one of the most stupid features of our
> post-secondary institutions. Why do we call them
> "institutions of higher learning" when the resources are
> focussed on publishing papers rather than helping the
> students learn?
> 
> Students are a loss leader. If you follow the money, only a
> small fraction of income is from the tuition students pay,
> since most are highly discounted the money is all from
> elsewhere. It comes from writing papers.
> 
> There are schools that take money and teach you skills and
> don't have 6-10 staff for ever faculty, but there is a war
> to destroy those places now, with Congress as the ground
> troops.
> 
> > It seems to me it's rather a bait-and-switch deal; the
> universities advertise their specialties and trumpet their
> lead researchers to get the students in the door. Then we
> take their money and they never see anyone but temps and
> teaching assistants.
> 
> It is a bait and switch, but nobody is claiming otherwise
> so that's not technically a problem (it's the cover up that
> gets you, and there isn't one). The students and parents
> know they are only there to pile up more A's and hook up
> with the alumni network so they can go into
> law/med/hedgefunds, i.e. more school, more A's, more
> networking. Which is just more of what high school is now -
> pile up A's, the right extracurriculars, and become "well
> rounded". Noone has ever gotten a job for being well
> rounded.
> 
> The situation on the ground is so much worse then you can
> possibly imagine, where the students only care about the
> grade and not the topics - because none of it is related in
> any way to law/med/hedgefund until they get into grad
> school. Thankfully I went to a teaching school (vs.
> research) long ago, so I had a profoundly different
> experience. But the economy is only making this worse, not
> better. Now those A's so you can get a network are even more
> critical, because that's how you get jobs.
> 
> I can say with complete certainty the higher education
> system we have now will NOT exist in 10 years. It's provably
> worse then every other way to educate we know of, and the
> costs no longer payoff in the end. People will still teach,
> and students will still learn - just like people still make
> music, and buy music - but the system will die and be
> replaced. In fact MORE will teach, and more will learn.
> We've all been seeing future echoes for a long time, and the
> dynabook is almost here...
> 
> It's going to be awesome :)
> 
> -- Adam L. Beberg
> http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/
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> 





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