A College Education Is It Worth 100,000? Essay, Research Paper
A College Education: Is it Worth $100,000?
In Robert E. Sullivan, Jr.’s “Greatly Reduced Expectations”, Sullivan discusses the lack of employment available to college graduates. Throughout the essay, testimonials are given by four college graduates who expected more opportunity when they graduated with a four year degree. I sympathize with these men and women who are working in jobs that do promote their ability.
Jim McKay, a graduate from the University of Washington, with a degree in English, did not expect the reality that hit him when he went searching for a job. McKay wasn’t hired for any of the jobs he considered English major related. The newspaper wouldn’t hire him, nor would his university, nor a beer company as a sales representative. With a feeling of dismay, McKay thought maybe he wasn’t trying hard enough, or maybe he had chosen the wrong major. After meeting several underemployed college grads, some more recent grads than himself, he realized “something bigger was going on.”(229) McKay, working with people who never earned a college degree, has given up hope at finding a job that utilizes what he learned while in school. “I feel angry about the whole thing,” McKay says. “I guess when you’re told your whole life that something’s gonna happened then the opposite happens, you feel cheated.” (230) I sympathize with Jim McKay, especially now that I’m in college and will be facing the same thing in a few years. It is a deep disappointment to work so hard as a young adult, sink so much money into an education and have it take you nowhere in the work place. When a person realizes that they “wasted their time and money”, I can imagine the feelings of anger, disappointment and the feeling of having been cheated.
Brian McCoy, a major in chemical-engineering, and with a graduation date of this spring, is already preparing himself for the strong possibility of not finding a job within his field. As he nears graduation, McCoy is taking all the interviews he can, just hoping to land something, and realizes that he may have to settle for a position in sales. “They say they have enough engineers, and I guess they figure it’s easier to teach a technical person how to sell than to teach a salesperson to be technical.” (230) I can understand Brian McCoy’s concern over his future. As graduation get’s closer, he realizes that his future might not be as secure as he first thought it was going to be. I find it upsetting, that a student fresh out of college, has to be hit with the huge disappointment of not being able to find a decent job within their major. All a person can do, is try not to be discouraged and keep searching for that job of their dreams.
It is believed that the higher the education a person receives, the more likely they are to land a job right out of college. Jamie Hurd, after graduating with a six year degree in architecture, has managed to only find a part time job within her field. When Hurd goes to look for other jobs, she feels the need to “play down her schooling”(230) Hurd feels, “Here you’ve got this professional degree, and it’s almost a hindrance…Sometimes you feel overqualified.(230) The situation that Jamie Hurd finds herself in unfortunately is not an uncommon one. I have heard many stories of being “overqualified”. In the United States, if a person doesn’t go to college they have trouble getting decent jobs. If a person goes to college, they are told they should specialize to have a better chance at a good job. If that person chooses to specialize they are now considered overqualified for many careers. I have difficulty excepting that that can be an acceptable reason for turning someone down for a job. People who graduate with a Master’s Degree or a Doctorate, or any specialized degree, should not have trouble finding a job. The fact is, however; they do.
Meggan Baron, a graduate from a four-year college with a major in Commerce and Art (1/2 art, 1/2 business), had difficulty finding a job at first. Even with a internship at Nordstrom, a high class department store, she failed to land the job she was hoping for. Baron started out with a job at Nordstrom, but as a salesperson in the woman’s clothing department. After a few months, Baron realized that her position was permanent and she didn’t have a hope of moving up the ladder. The reason was, “there were all these people on the bottom who were willing to keep their jobs; they didn’t want to give them up. We’re talking about people who made selling on the floor their career, which is something I never really wanted to do.” (233) I feel that it is really hard for college graduates to move up the ladder when there will always be people willing to stay at the bottom. If everyone in the job force insisted, that they work their way up, it would keep the job force moving, and give everyone somewhere to start with the possibility of moving up.
The situation that college graduates are facing is serious, and needs to be addressed. I feel bad for all the people who were expecting more and never are going to get it. I just hope that when I graduate my class has a better chance at a good job within out field.
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