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If the applicants have so little to offer that they fall
back on an old degree in English, maybe a job search rework
strategy session is in order. Make a list of what-I-can-do-that
people-will-be-willing-to-pay-for. Then market these strengths.
The knowledge of English may help in doing an effective resume
and cover letter, but not if there is no drive. accomplishments,
and ideas behind it.
If an entering college student loves literature and really
wants to spend time doing it, then more power to them.
But if parents and teachers claim that it will help them get a job,
they are liars. They should encourage the student to at least
minor in something marketable.
A neighbor got a BS in Political Science
(another unmarketable degree)
and got a job with a lobby, to the envy of all her friends
who were flipping burgers or being cashiers.
"She actually got a job in her field!"
She was too embarrassed to tell them that her 3-week course
in WordPerfect and working for the last two weeks of a successful
political campaign got her the job - as a gofer type.
She thought she could work her way up, but all the hearings,
the position papers, etc. were done by graduate student interns
or hig-pwered (or well connected) experts.
The closest she got to doing position papers was reformatting
and retyping them after the markups,once the whole crew had their say.
When she asked her boss when she was getting better duties,
he said that she was performing at her best and highest level,
and that if she'd majored in Economics, she would have had a
chance (The last math she had was as a high school sophomore -
her university did not require any mathematics or science
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