Mary Rose Bailor
The Misguided Generation At what point will boys’ lack of education get the best of them? Can girls’ education, and persistence overcome the stranglehold of the job market? It can and it will, but only if they can wiggle their way into the positions men now hold, and change the interview requirements from within. Girls are getting the education, and the grades, but boys are still landing the jobs, and running the companies. This issue is strongly addressed in Barbara Ehrenreich’s op-ed ‘Guys Just Want to Have Fun’. Ehrenreich, is a woman of education, with a major in physics and classical mechanics, and is now an accomplished published writer. She takes the issue or gender gap in our colleges, and runs with it over the course of white collar jobs and statistics of the classroom. The op-ed begins with a brief history lesson Ehrenreich has about her own college experiences, to her views on the current foundation of careers, and how to obtain them in the present. Although agreeing with her that girls are achieving over the boys in school, the girls still aren’t taking the classes our country needs or learning the shear importance personality has on landing the leadership careers. The issue most noticeable in the classroom seems to be, many women in the range of 30-50 are taking the steps back into the classroom. Women are not afraid to further their education by the stigma of age. Ehrenreich states, “Boys are less likely to go to college in the first place (only 45% of college students under 25 are male) and less likely to graduate.” The number has fallen sharply in the last century to below half, and grows even higher as age range increases. The men are still getting an education. However, it is just not in the classroom, it exists out somewhere on campus with a beer bong.. A decrease in the male drive for raw education in math and science has become daunting. The men are still in charge for the most part, but without the grades, or proper education, it's only a matter of time till the rest of the world takes advantage of their charming smile. Personality has become the headliner and frontier of the workplace, and the interview process revolves around it. Make em’ smile, make em’ laugh, and have a firm handshake. That’s all you have to do these days. With this knowledge, you’re already on the road to success and landing a career. Because during interview process you will not be the only person applying, and the odds are, you won’t be working all by yourself either. You will have to interact with co-workers, customers, and help contribute to a productive work environment. This will mean positive communication and attitude. Miss Ehrenreich puts it perfectly, “I was shocked to find emphasis entirely on such elusive qualities as ‘personality’, ‘attitude’ and ‘likability.’ Play down the smarts…and exude a ‘positive attitude’”. In my past I landed a customer service job at Sam’s Club after being unemployed for six months. I originally went into the interview for a position on cart duty. I sat in the interview for two hours, and went through three levels of bosses. Each one found my personality riveting, and at last I was in front of the store manager for one of their highest hourly positions. I had no experience, no college degree, just a positive friendly attitude and beaming smile. I was told I got the job over a couple other employees who were looking to transfer up. If I had my degree, I would only have been hired for seasonal work because turnover rate of an educated hire was much more likely. I personally didn’t see this fair to the graduates of 22, who now worked with heavy student loan debt a level below me. So this is where the motivation breaks down for people's aspirations of going to school, and hitting the books for a degree starts to look more pointless.
Work hard for a degree, put up with crappy jobs and student loans for a good paying job. That’s