College Graduates: Too Many in China, Not Enough in America?

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Tue, 07/05/2011 - 10:25 | 1426393 Vlad Tepid
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Gen X and Y will starve to death of they take the advice of the author and wait until the Boomers retire or die off.  All the Boomers I know are clinging for dear life to their jobs and giving none of use a chance to get move in or up.  In my particular workplace of 60 employees, I am one of only 5 Gen X or Y...and the most recent one got her job because the old man ahead of her died on the job.  We're generally more efficient/energetic/skilled then the average oldster (God bless them) but 'Been 'round a long time' apparently still counts for a lot.  The writer is living on Mars.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 15:54 | 1427531 pitz
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Yup the civil service around here is full of >$100k people who, in many cases, don't even know how to use computers or read, but, heaven forbid if someone under the age of 35 walks in with the skills to do the job much better and asks for a salary more than $60k/year.

Which is really outrageous, since the HR people keep claiming that hiring is done "on merit", when, in fact, it is anything but.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 02:46 | 1425935 rsnoble
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Of course we need more college graduates, as this study was done by a university. LMAO!  This place is going the route of china, everyone will have a degree thinking that's the way out......but there is a serious lack of jobs.  Graduate with an engineering degree, get a job at Mcdonalds for 4 or 5 years and then what the hell are you going to remember?

I will reduce this entire article to this----as far as the US is concerned you my as well stick a fork in it because it's fucking done.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 02:14 | 1425906 Midas
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I also love the starting salary surveys they give for different degrees. They print those like crazy, but I don't think I have ever seen the percentage of people who are not working in their field of study after a year.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 03:17 | 1425963 pitz
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The salary surveys in engineering aren't all that impressive.  UC Berkeley admits only 1 in 10 applicants, so presumably, they'd be only admitting the 'best and the brightest'.  Yet average starting salaries for their most-in demand engineering program, software engineering, is only $75k -- not even enough to qualify for a mortgage on a starter home in the SFBay area! 


And it gets worse -- the salary surveys done, and published by the schools themselves can only claim a 30-40% employment rate of grads.  So basically, even if you make it over the hurdles to get into UCB (or Cornell, or even MIT), you still only have less than a 50% chance of finding a job that doesn't even pay enough to take out a mortgage on a starter home.

This is not going to end well, and I suspect bankers are going to be hanging from trees once everything is said and done. 

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 02:04 | 1425896 williambanzai7
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This confirms once again that statistical analytics are highly overrated.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 03:41 | 1425981 pitz
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The big problem is that a small group of motherfuckers has distorted 'science' in this country, and unfortunately, those same mofos happen to be influential.  With the essence of science itself corrupted, the entire scientific community loses credibility.

Destroy the science...and you destroy the country.  No country or empire has ever survived over the long term ignoring the vital role of honest science. 

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 00:42 | 1425820 I Got Worms
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Tell that to my sister-in-law that graduated from TCU last year and works at the Gap!

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 20:56 | 1425397 Buck Johnson
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I agree with most of you and especially pitz and Boilermaker.  This article is speaking out of boths sides of it's face.  They say there isn't enough college graduates in the US but at the same time telling us that the college graduates that they don't hire aren't "qualified".  Then they talk about how the Chinese are cranking out millions of college educated but no jobs, but what about the quality of the college graduates in China and for that matter India.  I graduated with a Masters in Computer Hardware Technology and Electronics technology.  I don't use close to 90% of what I was taught or trained for.  I was lucky getting the job I have out of school 7 years ago because I took an instrumentation job at Cummins.  The job didn't need a 4 year degree for it, I put the bar low and pay low for my education, and I owe close to 100,000 dollars for my education.

But many of my friends are having trouble in the technology field.  At my company most of the engineers are from overseas (many indians and chinese).  What is happening is that many american companies are wanting engineers at very low pay and from overseas because the H1B visas essentially make the company their "slave master".  Also another reason for getting foreign workers is that compared to an american worker, you can easily bully the foreign workers but an American one it's alot harder and we have more laws that protect us. 

What is happening to America is that our standard of living is being brought down to overseas wages and lifestyle and many of us don't like it.  There is no way that our workers in the US can compete with 289 dollars a month, no way.  We will be a thirdworld country where their are pockets of wealth and gated communities.  While the rest of us will have to figure out how to survive in this new world.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 23:31 | 1425715 Boilermaker
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<virtual cigar passed>

By the way, I've being doing business with Cummins for years.  It was my first account out of college.  I've also been to DCEC...holy crap, what a dump.  Cummins has been forcing out 'highly paid' engineers for years now and bringing in foreign help. Since you've only been there 7 years you missed the bleak times when people with seniority were somehow singled out and fired.  The same folks, ironically, had 'health issues' also.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 20:35 | 1425375 Boilermaker
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Interesting enough, I can tell who the posters are that have a collegiate education and those that don't (for the most part).  I can also say, for a fact, that there are less college educated persons on ZH today than there were a year ago.  That's a fact.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 21:15 | 1425431 Dan Watie
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No college education can help you bud. You are hopeless. Look at all the Ivy League graduates that have led our country to were it is now. What do you think about that? Oh, I see a pattern. You are impressed by credentials. Idiot.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 23:23 | 1425713 Boilermaker
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So now college is not only valueless but actually a negative?  Oh man...this place is full of the peanut gallery folks now.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 03:19 | 1425966 pitz
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Yes, it actually is a negative.  Try being an engineering grad from a top tier university, and getting a job at Wal-Mart or McDonalds.  You'll be called 'overqualified', and, quite frankly, most university grads prefer unemployment or suicide to working at such a menial job.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 06:00 | 1426070 foofoojin
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I also agree it is a net negative at this point. T-minus 48 days till I sign my first promissory note.  Desperately trying to find a job that will keep me from losing my debt-free status.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 20:25 | 1425363 JustACitizen
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Just like some of the other commenters - I am struggling to understand what the point of this piece is?

If "industry" perceives a shortage - and you believe in a "market" than the appropriate "signal" should be being sent - that would be demand - hiring - competing for the best - etc.

If there is some kind of shortfall in the future (5-10 years from now) - don't worry - the extremely well compensated navel gazers running the companies are only concerned with the next quarter - or at the extreme outside - next year.

If the writer is saying that industry would like to have a crapload of college grads that they pay minimum wage to - (y'know - a really deep bench) - then they should find a way to lower the barriers to entry (like tuition $$$). I wonder what the various universities would be producing if the professors actually were doing the teaching...

I hear demand is still strong for some new "fall-guys" on Wall St. There are trading algorhythms to write, more sheep to sheer...errr I mean client facing positions, and financial strategists...

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:58 | 1425327 Dan Watie
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I had a great deal of trouble passing organic chemistry in college. I was tutored by several american post graduate students. That did not help. I was about to give up when my tutor moved on and was replaced by a chinese exchange student. He was very patient with me and right away saw where I was confused. In his broken english he opened my mind like no teacher ever had. In a matter of weeks I was ripping through advanced organic chemistry like nobody's business. On my final exam i got 98/100. That was long ago. Now when I look back with the yardstick of my years I realize what this fellow had, that was perhaps lacking in his american compadres, was a innocent passion for science. For science's sake alone. He was excited about what he was trying to teach me. There was extreme focus. I suspect, on average, that chinese students excel because they LOVE science. American students love American Idol.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 20:38 | 1425379 Boilermaker
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Well, there you have it.  Some dumb ass isolated and anectodal evidence that Chinese exchange students are just better.

Wasn't that easy?  He was able to teach organic chemistry to a nimrod in a 'matter of weeks'.

TA-DA!  China 1 - USA 0.  God, we must suck. 

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 21:04 | 1425414 Dan Watie
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Well, quite frankly we do suck. Admitting that is the first step, don't you think? Oh, thats it, huh? You don't think much. You are good at insulting though, aren't you? Say what you did to my face in person motherfucker. Just try.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 23:27 | 1425710 Boilermaker
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I'd be happy to say it DIRECTLY in-yo-face.  Where exactly do you live?  Or, am I supposed to shit myself because of your icon?

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 22:32 | 1439009 Dan Watie
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punk, nice try. You know I am never going to give out my address to the world. What I mean is NO ONE EVER FUCKIN SPOKE TO MY FACE like that. EVER!!! NOT A ONE! I'll leave it at that. Now go away and bravely insult commentors from the safety of the internet. What a common weasel.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 11:19 | 1426538 Vlad Tepid
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Boiler:  The take away I get from this guys thread is that our education system sucks.  The Chinese have been teaching a lot longer than 'we' have and I think they really know their stuff as far as (specifically) imparting knowledge.  However, when it comes to industrial application and mechanical innovation, this is not where their cultural forte lies.  They are still in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.  Think Japan in the 1930s:  All the accouterments of a major globe-spanning industrial military with the cultural mentality of a feudal warrior system.  China (whether they want to admit it or not) is still set up along the Confucian lines of rote memorization without practical application and the power of the status quo as opposed to a spirit of application and innovation.  

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:46 | 1425318 drB
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Boilermaker -

same is in pharma. They have to keep full time people here to check results/spectra etc that come out of Chindia. I have no idea why they keep outsourcing everything (which, by the way, is MUCH more responsible for lack of jobs than H-1). May be managers need CHANGE to keep themselves employed. In that case, there is hope that they will eventually start moving jobs back.

Also, this article is the worst piece of crap I have seen here. If anything, too many people in US are getting college education, guessing from current situation when even qualified people in hard sciences have trouble getting jobs.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 20:06 | 1425331 Boilermaker
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I believe it 100%.  In essence (at least in manufacturing) the suppliers do ALL of the work for them.  I met with a group of 'top' Engineers at FAW automotive to discuss some basic fatigue strength testing.  It's a fairly well 101 topic for any degreed ME in the US or Europe.  Holy shit, was I surprised at the lack of fundamental knowledge and understanding.  Since this was my first 'experience' with it, I kept trying to have the conversation (politely).  After about 6 hours, literally, I just gave up and left (along with a German fellow, equally frustrated).  It was totally hopeless.  Ultimately, we just did the work for them.

Now, we stuck in a perpetual assinine discussion regarding basic gauging methods.  What should take an hour (max) takes months and with no resolution.  It's un-be-lievable that they are winning.  Then again, I'm living in festering toilet of pollution.  So, maybe we aren't losing.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:24 | 1425289 Boilermaker
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You've obviously never tried to interact with a garden variety Chinese "Engineer" educated in their system. isn't what you think it is.  Basically, the Western companies that dominate the high end manufacturing there populate their entire staff to keep them from destroying the place.  Our Chinese division has about 20 people to the job of one person in our Detroit operation (literally).  They still can't get stuff right.  Many of them are 'college' educated.

I'm not even sure they are worth the pathetic salary they get anyway.  What is negative productivity worth these days?

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:12 | 1425255 Noah Vail
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Universities are great: they are the place you go to purchase an admission ticket to a job that isn't available. There you get to pay for the privilege of being instructed by teachers who never once engaged in the subject they are teaching, but rather learned it from a book writtenby another teacher, who never once engaged in the subject he was teaching, but was taught by a teacher  . . . . well, you get the idea. And kids have to beg for this privilege and go into hock for this charade.

No wonder there are so many self-made men without college educations.

No wonder corporate America is what it is.

No wonder it can't make a product without outsourcing it to China.

No wonder it only hires college-"educated" team players.

They can't take the risk of exposing their ignorance to anyone who wasn't.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:41 | 1425310 Boilermaker
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..."No wonder it can't make a product without outsourcing it to China"

What?  Seriously?  You think China has superior technology and a better workforce?  You've never been there.  I have and you're wrong.  You are very very wrong.  China can't hold America or Europe's nut sack.  They do have over a billion people willing to push a button 12 hours a day for a dollar in a extremely polluted environment.

Good luck with that.  They'll implode like hell and that soon enough.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:43 | 1425234 sun tzu
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What a load of horseshit. No surprise it was funded by the higher-ed industrial complex. Half the people who graduated with me never found a job in their field. That's from a tier 1 university

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:43 | 1425233 topcallingtroll
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I think what has happened is everyone wants a nice corporate job at a fortune 500 firm with all the benefits and great salary.  There are only so many of those to go around.  That mom and pop e-tailer selling stuff online might need a college graduate with business or programming skills, but those openings aren't very desirable.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 00:04 | 1425776 pitz
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If they didn't give most of the jobs at those Fortune 500 firms in the past decade to motherfucking Indians on H1-B visas, there wouldn't be a huge unemployment problem. 

"Mom and Pop" e-tailer should be prepared to pay up if they want talent.  All too often small business thinks they're entitled to a massive discount on labour simply because they're small.  If anything, labour should cost small businesses more because of a lack of advancement opportunities, and a greater chance of a layoff.  Small businesses that can't compete should just go fuck themselves.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:30 | 1425219 Ludwig Van
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Little more than a promo piece by the education/student loan industry, the next subprime bubble.



Tue, 07/05/2011 - 11:09 | 1426512 mahalopamala
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Absolutely correct.


Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:23 | 1425205 King_of_simpletons
Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:22 | 1425202 newworldorder
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Where does one begin to discuss the bullshit assumptions and conclusions in this article?

As I have no personal experience of what is going on in China relative to their college graduates, I will not comment.

Comments on US College Graduates is another matter however.

My personal experience (20+ years) of work in Corporate Hiring Departments, including College hiring and entry level professional hiring have led me to believe that the majority of academics, including PhDs, Mathematicians and Statisticians who run studies and write about employment issues, have NO idea what they are writing about.

There are millions of American citizens, college educated, with or without experience in a particular field who are not being hired and will not be hired by American Industry due to a variety of superfluous reasons having little to do with their degree or area of expertise. 

For reasons are too numerous to catalogue here. American industry uses the hiring process as a WEEDING OUT exercise, rather than as a put Americans to work commitment. 

Most companies want "top tier applicants from top tier" schools only. Heaven help you if you are a solid but average college graduate without personal connections or protected class status.

I have seen numerous technical and IT positions go unfilled for months because the hiring manager or hiring team could not find someone they thought was a fit for their "corporate or team culture."

As a society and as employers with jobs for hire we are killing the spirit of the American work force. Pick any company, pick any job open within than company - more than likely that job will receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes. Applicant Tracking Systems will rank and discard most of the resumes based on pre-programmed criteria. Getting your resume read by a Corporate Recruiter is a major accomplishment, much less getting a job offer.

Yet, the authors of this study and writers of this article, would have us believe that we have a shortage of competent workers. WE DO NOT HAVE SUCH A SHORTAGE. We have millions of American college graduates and qualified technicians who are available for immediate hiring and contribution to American society. Unfortunately, immediate hiring is not coming to an employer near you.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 02:59 | 1425950 SoCalBusted
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I have seen numerous technical and IT positions go unfilled for months because the hiring manager or hiring team could not find someone they thought was a fit for their "corporate or team culture."

You nailed it.

US employers are looking for drones that won't upset the precious status quo.  That's the reason H1B and others are preferred.  That's also one of the reasons I stopped looking for a W2 job after two years and now have 3 1099 gigs.  Kinda fun to fire clients that are a pain in the ass and watch the shocked look on their faces.

But, if you treat me fairly and pay on time, I will be loyal, do a great job and run through brick walls for you.

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 00:02 | 1425772 pitz
pitz's picture

Amen.  Concentrating on finding a good "cultural" fit has been a complete disaster, suppresses creativity, and deliberately excludes top talent who are often 'different'. 

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:25 | 1425208 King_of_simpletons
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@ a 10x price. That's a shortage my friend.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:03 | 1425171 Downtoolong
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Sounds like BS to me too. How many college grads do you need applying for one job opening a Wall Mart?

It's kind of like reading those retirement articles advising everyone to keep working until they are 80. This not only assumes the unlikely possibility they can remain employed beyond age 55, but that they can keep working about 2 years beyond the age they are expected to die.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:02 | 1425168 Motorhead
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I bet those Chinese university grads aren't tens of thousands of dollars in debt, either.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 17:59 | 1425162 Rattling Bones
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"The United States is not producing enough college-educated workers, at least according to a new study released by Georgetown University." McDonalds should release a study that states Americans are not eating enough hamburgers.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:16 | 1425282 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

 Georgetown Univ. can kiss my ass.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:29 | 1425217 topcallingtroll
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you nailed it.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 17:56 | 1425158 mahalopamala
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This article seems strange.  Who benefits from this?  What is the motive behind writing and posting this?  Maybe this is the college industrial complex trying to protect their bubble.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:33 | 1425226 tyler
tyler's picture

It totally is and it is disgusting that they would write this filth.  The universities are predators and have been producing propaganda like this for years not giving a rats ass how many unemployed, up to their eyeballs in debt college grads they produce.  Their no different from the banks and this "study" proves it.  Nothing's gone up more in price than a years worth of college.  They are gonna keep jacking up the price because the myth is still prevelant in this retarded country that success starts with a college degree.  I see it on tv, I was watching a show about sixteen year olds who get pregnant and give birth, every last one of them was talking about going to college and having a successful career.  

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 02:08 | 1425902 Freddie
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It is worse than that.  I know someone who did work for very well known and "prestigious" American universities.  They did work in the research areas.  They said the whole thing is a game to get grant money.  Grant money is all that matter not the research.  The money wasted makes the Pentagon look like skin flints.  This includes supposedly medical research and software for it etc etc.  The stuff developed never worked, had well paid workers in the projects who had no clue what they were doing etc etc.


Sort of like the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) do the safety and repair work at Japanese nuke plants or the scum Teamsters who work in US nuke plants, at NASA launch paids ad othe rplaces.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 17:52 | 1425155 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Where did the [ANT Queen] originate?  The United States college system. Anyone ever see those parasitic spores that do mind control on ants? They have a bad outcome, EVERY Time.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 17:38 | 1425137 Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks's picture

Are you sure this article isn't from the Onion?  I personally know one recent graduate of quite presigious George Washington University who can't find a job, and another young lady who earned her Masters Degree with a 3.6 GPA this spring who remains unemployed.  The author really needs to come down out of that ivory tower and experience things in the real world.  What a crock. 

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 18:28 | 1425215 topcallingtroll
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we have the wrong mix of graduates for what employers are looking for.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:04 | 1425259 sun tzu
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What are employers looking for?

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:14 | 1425277 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

 cheaper engineering consultancy contracts in So. Korea, and they're finding them too. The politicians have sold out the US to their big corporate sponsors.

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