Friday, November 18, 2011

Partisanship and employment

I'm tired of ranting and raving about Occupy Wall Street from a pure belief standpoint. I have mine, they have theirs and they will never see that mine are right. I'm not trying to be arrogant, but if I didn't believe mine were right, they wouldn't really be beliefs in the first place, would they? So I stand by my beliefs. We'll even call them convictions. I'm not wishy washy. However, being staunch is not enough to sell others on my position. So let's look at it in better, more factual detail, shall we?

Disclaimer: Nothing I say here speaks for the entire group. I also don't feel I'm making blanket statements. This is generalized simply to be able to keep it a reasonable length and I can't speak for individuals.

In looking at the overarching theme of how they feel (the protestors). They feel the rich get richer and the upper 1% has too much. They feel they are entitled to more opportunities. They want caps on the high and low end of the pay scale to minimize inequalities. Suffice it to say, none of them are extremely wealthy and self made millionaires. Many do not have jobs or, at a minimum, not full time, structured/rigid jobs. The principles of who they are and who they are fighting paint a clear distinction about partisanship. Would you say that these folks are closer to right wing, conservative, capitalist, big business loving, Republicans? Or do they fit the left wing, share for the common goal and greater good, everyone deserves a chance, help our fellow man, liberal, Democrats? I think we can all agree that they are, by and large, the latter.

Since we are speaking in large, generic polarized categories, let's continue that trend. Conservative Republicans will often gravitate toward more pragmatic degrees (B.S., M.S.) vs the loony lefty liberals who are generally more artsy (Bachelor of Arts) and lean toward careers that allow free expression. This is where this whole thing is leading to. Careers, success, and employment. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has compiled data to see the employment rate by major. Keep in mind that across the board, the unemployment rate (as of October 2011) was 4.4 for people with a college degree (inclusive to all levels of degree - Baccalaureate, Masters, Doctoral). Here is the list of the top 10 most employed major from least unemployed down:

1. Actuarial Science - 0 percent
2. Astonomy and Astrophysics - 0 percent
3. Educational Administration and Supervision - 0 percent
4. Geological and Geophysical Engineering - 0 percent
5. Pharmacology - 0 percent
6. School Student Counseling - 0 percent
7. Agricultural Economics - 1.3 percent
8. Medical Technologies Technicians - 1.4 percent
9. Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology - 1.6 percent
10. Environmental Engineering, Nursing, and Nuclear Industrial Radiology and Biological Technologies - 2.2 percent

There are the top 10 most employed majors. The least employed of that list is half of the percentage of college grads unemployed overall. 9 of those 10 are very specifically scientific, measurable, fact based majors. No expression. No art. They are jobs that require people to show up at a certain time, meet measureable standards and performance benchmarks. Not dissimilar from the structured, numerical world of banking and finance. The only one that stands out among the rest is School Student Counseling; however, I would be willing to bet that the 0 percent belongs to those who have gone past a 4-year degree. More education ups the chances of continued employment, of course.

The Center also has found that all these scientific degrees will earn significantly more money. One such example is that a petroleum engineer major will make three times as much, over a lifetime, than that of a psychology major. The psychologist/counselor has less risk, which means they will make less money but a higher guarantee of it - once employed. Still a 0 percent unemployment rate for 5 scientific degrees sounds like a worthwhile effort.

At the end of the day, all of this data leads to one meaning - inferred or stated. Scientific, numerical, data based, technology, banking or similar career paths will always provide a greater chance of professional and financial success. Even for those who have chosen to skip the degree process and choose to work from the ground floor in these industries, it is a better bet than being on the other side. This is not my personal partisanship. I'm not going to strap a dead panda to the front of a Lincoln Navigator and run over every liberal artist I can find. I'm taking a stance based on real data from Georgetown (not a fly-by-night organization).

So OWSers, you want change. Here's a suggestion, make it happen. The choice is yours. The programs are available. The information is publicized. Want the money? Make, don't take, the money. Once you have it, use it for good not evil like you believe everyone in lower Manhattan is doing.

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