Posts Tagged ‘advertising’
Starbucks’ Internet was being uncooperative yesterday. I wasn’t about to go home, yet, what with two free hours of Internet just outside my grasp. I decided to wait it out and try again later.
I turned on my Tetris. I lost. Points: 178,364.
Eventually I figured out the problem: This specific Starbucks’ router still redirects the user to a T-Mobile login when the national chain switched to AT&T.
Figures. I went back to Tetris. I lost. Points: 203,435.
Who should at that moment walk in to the Starbucks but an old adviser from college? She had arranged a meeting here with Professor Emeritus, a legendary department figure I’d only ever heard of before, and one who had read, and said he liked, what I wrote for the school paper.
We made some more small talk; I let the two of them get to their meeting, turning instead to Tetris. I lost. Points: 153,239.
Just as I started another game, my old adviser, done with her conversation with Prof. Emeritus, came over to swap a few more war stories from back in the day I still worked at the school paper. In the course of this conversation, it came out that I was looking for a job, as did my observation that journalism had almost exactly zero openings.
Have you considered advertising? Our advertising curriculum has been doing our students a disservice, because it doesn’t really focus on writing skills. The first thing employers ask now is how our students can write, and I have to be honest about it: Not so well. We’re reworking our program now, but for the time being you might find more than a few openings that might suit you.
There are a few other former print journalism students from the paper who found jobs in advertising because they can write. You should try that.
I hadn’t thought of that. I began my generic cover letter.
I can write. I hear this is a marketable skill.
Thanks be to shoddy curricula.
Arguments concerning vocational education have come and gone. In an era characterized by the push to getting all students to college, critics view this push as detrimental to the value of a college degree and, most importantly, to lives of the students. College isn’t for everyone, they say, and we’re wrong to assume that.
As such, the current argument for bringing back woodshop, autoshop and welding classes goes a little something like this:
What is the role of schools, but to prepare students for jobs? We should re-delegate that responsibility to the high schools and trade schools, where job training belongs, rather than impose that on colleges and universities.
Moreover, students who won’t go to college will just tune out school. Bringing back vocational programs will keep the bored students from skipping classes entirely.
My master teacher and I had a lengthy discussion about this idea, and we came up with no answers. I suppose if we did, we’d be busy writing some groundbreaking doctoral dissertation, earning the appreciation of all teachers ever along the way. We aren’t.
Sure, we could bring back, say, welding. But eventually, all the welding jobs will go to robots. They won’t need, or need as many, professional welders. We’d be preparing our students for jobs that won’t exist.
There’s always information technology. Google is making a few billion dollars, isn’t it?
But what is a Google? What does it Google produce? Can you go to a store and buy a Google?
That’s what I worry about with our economy. We used to have a lot of manufacturing jobs, but we don’t, anymore. Our economy is leaning towards companies like Google, which have no tangible product.
Google is an extension of information services and the advertising industries, two industries which, frankly, aren’t going anywhere.
How much of our economy could be information services and advertising, though? Those industries can’t keep growing forever; our entire economy can’t be based on marketing.
We left it at that. Vocational education can’t stick around with the tentative and unstable waves of the future, and it can’t go ahead and stick with the echoes of the past.
We agreed on this: Vocational education should exist, and should be an integral part of the high school curriculum. We just don’t know how.