More Education Required...
Mish's post with a perspective on the job market from a newly graduated PhD scientist really hit home for me.
One of my job hunting experiences when I first obtained by B.Sc. was the qualifying for a job interview process. I have no idea how many applicants were received, but 24 were choosen to write a 3 hour exam for what was a routine technician job. It was a job I was over qualified for with a degree and one they had filled the previous two years with university undergraduates.
Well, out of the 24 given the opportunity to write a test 12 had B.Sc., and the other 12 had master and PhD degrees. Overall, I placed 12th in the exam, not qualifying for one of the 7 interviews. The test was entirely theoretical and truly had no bearing what-so-ever on the job. Seriously, the job was do 100 of the same test day in and day out and who cares what the reaction mechanism might be. It is like being tested on the chemical reactions in a car engine to try and qualify for a driver's license. I had a friend who did the job, and when I applied she thought I was nuts as it was so routine.
What the hiring process led to was a PhD graduate ended up being hired for a job that only required a two year technician program to qualify for the job. It was a government job, and what do you think having grossly over qualified people do to a wage scale?
I have said so many times that Vancouver truly was a micro economy of what's to come in the bigger economy and I think the parallels that I constantly see are staggering.
And, it is utter nonsense that we don't have enough qualified or educated people. We are in an economy where those higher wages the higher educated used to demand are declining because of supply and demand. There is enormous supply and little demand.
On another topic, I also had a very interesting discussion about the rates of pay in the forest industry. When I was young I had family working in the forest industry and from my perspective, they had a very nice lifestyle, nice cars, vacations, entertainment money, etc. This friend from the east coast was working in the forestry industry at the same time. He was barely able to support his family and there was never anything left over. My uncles used to get tons of overtime, yet on the east coast unemployment was so high, industry just hired more workers and refused any overtime. I don't know how the actual dollars per hour compared, but I do know that my uncles used to get tons of overtime and a wage that I thought was awesome.
Going to a job seems key in this economy and going where unemployment rate is lower...