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College Graduation Season

Original post made by Paul Losch, Community Center, on Apr 25, 2012

I graduated from college more years ago than I care to admit. I was fortunate to move on to business school from there, and life for me has had its twists and turns since then.

My two kids, who some of the readers of my blogs know personally, are at similar points of inflection this Spring.
Son finishing a teaching credential, daughter graduating from college. PROUD DAD! More importantly, they are both fine people. And what’s next for them?

I hear this expressed by other boomers like me who are concerned about what their adult kids will do next. In these parts, a tech degree can land a job pretty easily, as I hear it. Soft skills that come from liberal arts degrees appear to lead to retail and the like just to generate some income.

I don’t get it. I am not concerned about my kids, who I think have found their way, as I am about the general trend that if you are not a high tech engineering type, you are not welcome here in Silicon Valley.

Please offer your thoughts and opinions

Comments (4)

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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Who needs to pay kids that blow glass? Their jobs are destined to be, "would you like fries with your burger, sir/mamm?" Get used to it. Of course, they can also go out and do something useful, like putting a tool in their hands, and get some callouses, dare I say manual labor?

What is your point, Paul? You seem to think a liberal arts degree, somehow, guarantees a job without physicial sweat. Can you hear your elitist self, Paul?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Paul and John

There are many other jobs out there that do not need a tech style qualification in fields that support the tech industry around here. I'm thinking about law (eg patents), financial support,tax, medical support, admin, business, etc. The flip side, is that so many of the tech parents around here are producing offspring who do not want to follow them into the tech profession (too many long hours of hard work to be effective in their jobs) and are ending up with the non scientific degrees and return home to mom and dad hoping to get a good job in their chosen field which means that there is a lot competition for these jobs.

It promises to be an interesting discussion.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Some of the top business employers (not necessarily in the Valley) are looking for raw smarts, work ethic, and some analytical skill - they figure they will teach new recruits what they need to know. Consulting, Wall Street, etc., are filled with those kids with all sorts of majors - though from top schools. Athletes do well too, since they generally understand team work and discipline.

Probably harder in the Valley, since we are, after all, a one-industry town - though you don't need to be an engineer to work in marketing, HR, sales, support, etc., or general management for that matter. I agree, Paul, there is a certain "engineering snobbishness" that I didn't sense 10 years.

Life is long, careers are long, and what we study in college, in my experience, can be unrelated to what we do and how we succeed.

Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.


Thank you for your ad hominem comment.

My point is that many people who grew up here and did not get technical degrees in college find it difficult to find well paying jobs in this area. People with advanced degrees, such as MBA's, law degrees, etc. are able to do so. But what about Johnny who has a BA in Political Science? Tougher path.

I spent the last 8 years working alongside my at best high school educated employees running a company where I threw out my back, spoke Spansih constantly, operated a fork-lift, and had a fabulous time. MBA from a well known eastern business school. Don't call me elitist, stick to the topic, which is not about me.

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