Degrees don’t equal dollars

Christie Reed, Editor in Chief
Christie Reed, Editor in Chief

Working is not what it used to be. The days of 9 to 5 jobs with full benefits and job security are gone. It is even more challenging finding a job when your ethnicity matters more than what you know.

A close friend of mine, a recent college graduate, has been on the prowl for a job in her field all summer. She began with high hopes and high standards but is now willing to settle for anything.

She began looking for a job as a teacher’s aid or substitute. She took the infamous CBEST, attained a bachelor’s degree and has an astounding resume, but she has been turned down interview after interview. Why?

The answer is both simple and discouraging.

She was told in one job interview that she scored highest on her CBEST, had an excellent resume, but had fallen slightly short of qualifying for the job­—she was not a minority. In reality she is, but declined to check the box.

The employer then proceeded to tell her that any applicant that had claimed minority status received five extra points on their overall score.

Neither her abilities nor her disposition concerned the school district. They were willing to hire somebody less qualified, simply because of his or her ethnicity.

Although we can blame some of this on affirmative action and Bill Clinton, this reverse discrimination must end.

Another school district denied her a job because she was not fluent in Spanish and yet another employer asked her if she spoke Tagalog. When she said that she did not, they frowned and claimed that their teachers must be fluent in these other languages.

If being multilingual was necessary to receive a job, why is it not required that students learn at least three languages?

Even with years of foreign language, fluency is very difficult to attain in the classroom. The best way to learn a language is to use it in practical situations everyday. For many students like myself, that do not have a bilingual family member at home, this is virtually impossible.

Besides the fact that it is becoming more and more challenging to find a job, it is becoming equally as challenging to find a good one and keep it. The Los Angeles Times reported a number of statistics in its Sept. 2 issue that shine a dim light on the job market.

Today, people are more likely to work at home, temporarily or part-time and the workplace will only undergo more changes for the worse in the next century.

Workers will say goodbye to job security and hello to short-term jobs. Workers will have at least two career changes in their lifetimes and there will be a 30-hour work week meaning less money and fewer benefits.

While the minimum wage is $4.25 and average hourly wages fluctuate between $5 and $6, we can face the reality that U.S. Government Salaries are astronomical.

The same Los Angeles Times article reveals that the President is paid $200,000 a year; the speaker of the house receives $171,500; a Senate Majority Leader is paid $148,400; Senators and members of the House of Representatives receive $133,600 and the vice president is paid a mere $94,000.

What about those jobs that receive little recognition yet require more time, patience and training than those that pay six digits?

Among the occupations that have the most stress in America are firefighters, senior corporate executives and taxi drivers. And one can be sure that their salaries peak nowhere near that of a senate majority leader.

At this rate, children will not grow up wanting to be teachers. It will be impossible to make a living in that career. Parents will encourage students to become senior corporate executives.

Parents can look forward to there being plenty of job opportunities for their children in the future. According to the Times the occupations that will have the most openings in the future will be cashiers, janitors, cleaners, maids, housekeepers, retail sales and waitresses. Of course, these will only be available to those workers who fill a quota, qualified or not.

Christie Reed, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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