Opinion

Four Years Later

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Imagine this: you finally graduated college and are now looking to begin your dream career. You begin your job search via Indeed as you type in your aspired job titled in your desired location, and click “Find Jobs.” The first headline you see fits your perfect career, and you’re ready to apply. The job posting sounds like everything you’ve ever asked for in a career and more. Until you read the credentials.

Must be [insert company’s desired characteristics and values here]. Check.

Bachelor’s Degree in related field required. Check.

4+ years of experience required. Wait, what?

So you mean to tell me that while I have been taking 18 credit hours per semester for four years, I was also supposed to be accumulating experience in this field in addition to maintaining my 3.84 GPA? Now I’m thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and have no means to begin making payments on my student loans.

This also applies to those who choose not to go to college, and work their way up in the company. Imaging this: you graduate high school, and decide that you are ready to begin your career with a company in hopes to work your way up into a higher position. Four years later, you are offered the promotion of a lifetime. A promotion that you have been waiting for, and working extremely hard towards in order to reach your ultimate career goal. You are ready to humbly accept this promotion from your boss and begin the interview process, until they list credentials of this new position.

Must be [insert company’s desired characteristics and values here].  Check.

4+ years of experience required.  Check.

Bachelor’s Degree in related field required. Wait, what?

So you mean to tell me that I have been working 40+ hours a week for the last four years, showing up 15 minutes early each shift, representing the company’s values, and have rightfully worked my way up to a position that I am not able to interview for due to a lack of a generic four year degree?

Millennials have been brought up to think that college is the only way to be successful, and that if they do not have a degree, they will be asking the infamous, “Would you like fries with that?” question umpteen times for the rest of their working careers. Not only is this misguided, but I think people tend to forget that experience is still vital to pair up with the degree. It may be possible to achieve enough experience through co-ops and internships, and maybe if an individual is lucky, they may be able to score an entry level position that is flexible with their class schedule. However, perhaps companies and the economy as a whole may want to reconsider this entire economic situation that millennials and upcoming Generation Z are having to endure, and come up with a solution that will leave this country better off in the long run.

I think that economically as a country we are in desperate need of relief among those who are trying to better their lives through education. The scenarios mentioned earlier in this article occur because it has come to the point where students have to either choose to work in their field or to continue their education. A happy medium that has become increasingly popular is learning a trade or earning a certification.

The beloved FAFSA is a close to useless government federal aid application, used for grants and loans based on your parent’s financial income. Last time I checked, the child is the one devoting their time and funds to continuing their education, not their parent. Therefore, I think that if someone has a passion for the medical field and helping others, that should have more pull in the system than someone whose parents want them to become a doctor because they are a doctor themselves and can afford to send their child through 8-12 years of medical school.

Continuing education after high school should be encouraged among youth, not discouraged, to promote passion within careers and progression as a country.

About Kayla Vaske

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