[NetBehaviour] naughty boy

Yvonne Martinsson yvonne at freewheelin.nu
Thu Aug 20 20:53:00 CEST 2009

Ahhh! someone who knows what it's like to have a degree that is a bit  
too much, probably. I too have a degree, a PhD, and since I got it  
I've been mostly unemployed, except for a semester teaching English  
grammar which is not my field. Employers tell me that my education is  
a luxury they cannot afford, so here I am trying to build a business  
of my own instead, which isn't easy these days.

So the question is, why get an education? Except for the benefits of  
personal development, how do you survive afterwards? And isn't it  
strange strange that society invests in your long-term education and  
then don't want to profit from it, or it at least take advantage of  
your knowledge? Fortunately, there is the internet so your knowledge  
isn't lost, but maybe everything else as how are you going to pay the  


18 aug 2009 kl. 18.16 skrev james morris:

> why a degree might be a waste of time and money
> ===============================================
>       in improving employment prospects
>       =================================
> james morris    eighteenth of august two thousand and nine
> ------------    ------------------------------------------
> sour grapes
> ===========
> i studied fine art at university and graduated at the age
> of 26. before my degree i never had a permanant job. i had
> summer work on farms in my immediate vicinity from the age
> of 13. i got work from recruitment agencies after
> a-levels. i also studied computers prior to the art
> degree.
> since graduating, eight years ago, i have had one
> permanant job. it was in a factory operating moulding
> machines. unfortunately, they required me to operate a
> machine i disliked much much more than the other machines
> so i refused to operate it. they sacked me for gross
> misconduct. looking back i was niave to think the fact i
> could already operate over half the machines, and in
> practical terms knew the basics of setting them, was
> enough to protect my job.
> so i went back to the agencies and now, in these present
> times of 'financial crisis' i would place myself somewhere
> below the bottom wrung of the ladder. i don't know where i
> will be working from day to day. i might get called up
> anywhere between five in the morning or half ten at night.
> sometimes i need to start immediately, other times for the
> following day. if i was paid any less for the work i do,
> it would by law be illegal.
> serial killer
> =============
> the other week i worked at three different companies in as
> many days. then i watched a tv programme about a serial
> killer. the psychologiest mentioned, when talking about
> the profiles of serial killers, that they often drift from
> job to job. so let's be clear here, i'm no serial killer.
> something else
> ==============
> i keep coming across articles in the tabloids about people
> out of work. sometimes they have been through higher
> education, or are studying at degree level. the last
> article i read trumpeted about how many jobs were out
> there waiting to be filled. they were all in supermarkets
> or fast food chains.
> some of the people complained they could not afford to
> live on the benefits paid to them. admittedly, from the
> sound of it, they had all done much more than me to find a
> job. but i'm working and they're not. i went to an agency
> and they did not. although the work the agency provides me
> pays only the minimum nation wage, and i'm rarely working
> more than four days a week, it is still more money than
> i'd have by claiming benefits.
> so why don't people who have been out work for months, who
> complain about struggling on benefits, just go straight to
> an agency? because they don't want to start work at 6am?
> because they don't want to do manual labour? because they
> don't want to work on the factory floor or in a
> wharehouse? because it's not enough money? or just for
> fear that they'll end up stuck there?
> possibly they fear their lack of experience in low paid
> manual labour/factory/wharehouse work would be a
> disadvantage? don't be silly, for in this line of work,
> it's no more a disadvantage than only having the most
> basic grasp of english.
> waste of time degrees
> =====================
> one of the people mentioned in the tabloid article was
> studying 'creative music technology'. how many jobs out
> there are there where such an education would be a real
> practical advantage? how many students were enrolled on
> that course? how many universtities provide that same
> course? how many other similar courses does each
> university provide? do the maths and then look for the
> jobs. that is, how many jobs would specifically require a
> 'creative music technology' graduate?
> oh yes i know, what you study is irrelevant, it shows
> employers you have at minimum, a nearly half functioning
> brain.
> the education conspiracy
> ========================
> don't fool yourself into believing universities are places
> of learning. like any institution in these modern times
> anything that they claim to be is just a front for making
> money. universities are about making money for the people
> who own them (whoever they may be), and if that gets in
> the way of genuine real world education, so be it.
> well they are a business and not a charity ok.
> so how can we get more young misguided people onto our
> books and paying us wads of cash? ah ha, let's give them
> what they want: fun degrees that pretend to be educational
> but are really just playing in the sand. go on mr, play
> with the computer and make some noises. ooh, wee, that's
> good! excellent! have yourself a first!
> you want to study art? yes? come right in, you'll get by
> with a fully disfunctional brain, and to be honest,
> that'll probably be a distinct advantage. creative
> writing? yes, come along. fire breathing and juggling,
> yeah sure we can do that! battlestar galactica studies?
> coming soon!
> and of course the fact that universites are really about
> making money for their owners, et al, really is the
> propagating factor of these stupid-arsed courses of study.
> when one university sees another doing these dumbed down
> courses designed for popular appeal, they fear potential
> students will smell the sweetness and go over to the
> competition, so they have to implement these crappy
> worthless courses also. and as everybody knows, a bit of
> competition is healthy.
> right on
> ========
> unfortunately for the poor unsuspecting students barely
> out of their nappies, how well you do in the employment
> market (excuse me while i vomit) is more about who you
> know and how much shit you can talk or how much confidence
> you exude or how much brown nosing you're capable of. the
> government may claim to desire to provide better
> oppurtunites for the working class youth, but unless these
> youth lack even the slightest hint of self doubt they'll
> get nowhere. i mean if they're like me and were utterly
> unconfident and getting a degree was something to get me
> the hell out of the imprisonment of living with my parents
> in a 'idylic village' in the middle of nowhere... it won't
> improve your job prospects, but you probably will find it
> worthwhile in terms of your personal
> development/recovery/induction into the social world...
> end motes
> =========
> i hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as i've enjoyed
> writing it as fast as i can and without a spell checker.
> such is the attitude of a factory working open source
> software developping website designing disillusioned art
> graduate.
> don't let your new found identity as a 'human resource'
> get you down.
>  x x x
> end notes
> =========
> don't get me wrong, if i was not owing thirteen thousand
> pounds (and counting) to the student loans company i would
> not feel the slightest pang of regret for studying fine
> art at degree level. maybe if i had gone from school
> straight into employment i might have progressed further
> along the career ladder and learnt practical skills
> valuable to the employment market (eurrgh). i probably
> would still be interested in the things i am interested
> in. but perhaps the attitudes within the workforce i would
> have encountered, instead of those at colleges and then
> university, would have made me an entirely different
> person. i don't fucking know, it's too late to change it
> now. there's no turning back.
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