Is It Easier to Get a Job….Without a Degree?

Jobless & Indebted...

Excellent news on the homefront…B got a job! What a huge sense of relief I am feeling. Not only do I not plan on going back to social services, but it also gives us a little more breathing room in terms of bills that had been stacking up.  While I am extremely excited about B finding a job (after a little less than a month of unemployment), I am slightly confused by his easy success finding a new job and the difficulty I have had for nearly a year.

While I have a Bachelor’s Degree, B does not. In my mind that should have made it easier for me to find a job, but in this economy I feel as if it has been more difficult for me to find a job. I have a classmate who lives in California who has had trouble finding work as well. He went and applied to jobs at Target with a high school classmate of his who didn’t go to college, his friend received a job and he never got a call back. People have suggested to me that the reason for this is because employers assume that people with degrees won’t keep the job and will constantly be looking for better employment. Isn’t this the case with everyone? Even though B has secured a job he still looks for jobs everyday. He is not unsatisfied with his new position, but if something better comes up I’m sure he wouldn’t hesitate to leave.

I admit that I typically am looking in a more specialized field than B, he has looked in pretty much every field possible, and I have typically stayed in education and non-profits. However, I did apply for a few jobs that were non-salaried and didn’t provide benefits, such as at Best Buy (yes, I admit it was just for the discounts on electronics), but regardless I never received a call from any of the stores. Is it possible that what I have been told is true? Does having a degree while applying to a job where a degree is not required make it more difficult to secure a job? Is the job market more competitive when you have a higher level of education, but not a graduate degree or professional degree? I have heard stories of people with Master’s degrees accepting lower paying, less distinguished positions than they might have accepted 10 years ago simply because the same opportunities are no longer available. I know that job opportunities are scarce across the board, but simply judging by B’s job hunt (which I know is very different from many people in his position because of internet access and his prior job experience) he has been very successful in getting a job in what I would see as a record amount of time.

My mother is convinced that going back to school and getting my Master’s is the path to future success for me, but honestly with student loans and debt drowning me already I can’t imagine wanting to put myself further into that position. There are classmates of mine who earn 6 figure salaries and for them I assume the debts they incurred are well worth it, but as someone who has little interest in i-banking, medicine or law I am more skeptical about adding on any additional debts when I doubt I will ever have a job that pays me as much as my classmates at J.P. Morgan. Just some food for thought. Overall this week has placed a great blessing on us and I am very thankful for the shedding of some stress.


About Brickhouse

This little box cannot contain me, but I'll give it a shot: Black college grad, mother-to-be, broke, educator, activist & writer embarking on a new journey. Trying to document this crazy world surrounding me in hopes of retaining/gaining sanity.
This entry was posted in Higher Education, Job Hunt, Stress, Unemployment and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Is It Easier to Get a Job….Without a Degree?

  1. You are right on — again! I have 2 full university degrees and when I was laid off from my pharmaceutical sales job, I thought finding another w/be no sweat. But the economy had tanked and those with senior experience were awarded the jobs for which I qualified based on my education and work performance. In desperation, I tried to land positions that did not require a college education. Interviewers either never called me back or simply told me, point blank, I was overqualified. That’s when I decided to break out of the corporate world and write full time. G-d has a way of turning the pitfalls of life into beautiful happenings. Breathe, know you are a wonderful person making a difference, and just say no to excess stress!

  2. Brickhouse says:

    Thanks for the advice! I am realizing that if you can’t fit into the mold you have to seek your own path. Little by little I am trying to etch out my own path. Putting my thoughts on this blog has been very therapeutic! Maybe one day I can figure out how to make it pay!

    • Chetta Renfroe says:

      I totally understand. I too had to step out on faith after losing my job and now I found an opportunity to work from home and have more time with my child. It’s great leaving the corporate world behind and not having to worry about everyone else determining my schedule. Now I have the financial freedom and found my own nitch with a known company ACN.

  3. Cameron says:

    I’m a undergrad and still can’t find jobs during the summer, so far the only hope I have is working at my college

    • Brickhouse says:

      I was thinking more along the lines of full time/long term positions. I know that as a college student it was hard for me to find employment outside of the college community because most people are unwilling to hire someone for 2-3 months. At least that has been my experience.

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