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What Really Grinds My Gears: Inflation of the College Education

The corner store my grandfather worked at from 1954 until his retirement. This is the truth and this definitely is not an image I found on google.

There was once a beautiful time in this country when a man could go down to the corner store, land a job that same day, and provide for his family until retirement. Heck, maybe he could even manage to get some money together and buy that dream car he always wanted. However, with the US dollar seemingly becoming less and less valuable by the second, this just isn’t in the cards anymore. It seems as though unless you’re an entrepreneur or lucky enough to hit the lottery, gaining some sort of degree is needed to provide the simplest of comforts these days. Gone are the days of 25 cent gallons of gas and 60 cent gallons of milk. Here to stay are the days of $7 dollar cups of coffee and $75 designer tees. I guess the trade-off of color television and smartphones makes it worth it.

With the ever growing need for a college degree to land a reasonably paying job, you’d think most companies would be willing to work with entry level candidates when it comes to qualifications. One word, five letters. W R O N G. Now hear me out. As a fairly recent college grad I’d say I spend a cool 65% of my waking hours researching job listings, touching up my resume, typing and retyping cover letters, and emailing hiring managers.

This is me 6 years ago at my junior prom. Circa 2015. Relevant experience: 0.

If there is anything that I’ve learned, it’s that these “entry level” jobs are hardly entry level at all. From what I’ve seen, the majority of these listings require anything from an obscene amount of work experience, to a literal arm and a leg. (That was an exaggeration but at this pace I’m not so sure.) I’m all for weeding out the candidates who are massively under-qualified for the role. But sir, you can’t expect a 23-year-old-fresh-out-of-college entry level candidate to have 6 years of relevant experience. 6 years? 6 YEARS?? 6 years ago I was getting ready for the junior prom!!!

Employer: Yeah uh, you’re gonna need 8 years experience MINIMUM, a graduate degree from a top university, fluent in 3+ languages….. You’ve gotta be attractive (Ex. Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal) You must also be able to recite The Godfather parts 1 & 2 word for word. Oh, and uh….. give us your pet dog too.

Me: The best I can do is a bachelor’s degree and some peanut M&M’s…..

Employer: Kick rocks, Bozo.

For all of you so called “Linkedin Gurus” who can weasel your way into getting an interview with just about every job application you submit, more power to ya. However, the majority of us entry level suckers are stuck here trying to get just ONE year of experience. Seriously how do they expect us to get 3, 4, 5, years of experience if they won’t even bother to look in the direction of someone who is having trouble getting 1? For those of you out there that can relate to what I’m rambling about, keep on keepin’ on. You’ll catch your break soon enough. And for all of the companies out there expecting a lifetime of experience from a 20 something year old, open your eyes. There are thousands upon thousands of candidates out there with less experience, but more to provide for your company.

I now leave you with David Holt Jr.’s “Wall of Shame: Job Listings Vol.1”

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