Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Job Links

Tips for finding a salary job - edited by Willy Franzen. Every day highlights one interesting employer and entry level positions they are offering.

12 Indirect Job Interview Questions

According to companies what makes a great cover letter?

Tips for Freelancers

10 ways designers can earn more from projects although they focus on web designers most of their tips can apply to designers in any field.

The Secret to Landing Clients Nearly 100% of the Time

How to Identify and Deal with Different Types of Clients

Friday, March 26, 2010

What is College Worth?

Was it worth it?
When I was ten years old I came to my mom, anxious and upset. She asked me what was wrong and I said, "Mom, I don't know what college I want to go to."

At the time my mother thought my worries were both heartrending and adorable. Now I wonder if it wasn't an alarming example of what our current society is doing to learning.

Our social system puts so much pressure on kids to succeed. To study, gain information, get good grades on tests so that they can score well and get into a good college.... and then what?

Colleges in the United States seem to be suffering a case of confused identity. The majority still attempt to stand as bastions of advanced learning and thought, yet they pander to the helicopter parents, lazy students, and a passionless student body so that they can continue to raise enrollment and there by their ever increasing tuition fees. They are building a conveyor belt style of teaching that may work for some but is hardly worth the thousands upon thousands of dollars colleges demand.

Even at a school heralded for its challenging programs, MCAD classes were hit or miss at best. There were several classes, especially in the liberal arts department that I could breeze through on bullshit alone.

I distinctly remember the few professors I had who demanded more from me than just turning my assignments in. My GPA suffered from those few teachers but I felt satisfied and content with my grade, like I had actually accomplished something. They demanded more from me, pushed me beyond my comfort zone and showed me wonderful possibilities, some of which I didn't learn to fully appreciate until months later.

But their passion was rare. There seem to be two sides to higher learning. The avenue of career advancement and the exploration of learning for knowledge's own sake. Both are necessary, but too many colleges try to balance these without acknowledging that either exist as distinct paths.

I learned a lot in college, I can acknowledge that. But for the thousands of dollars I, and my parents have spent there are a few real world skills that I wish had been included in my education...

  • How to write a resume
  • How to make business cards
  • How to write a cover letter
  • How to present myself at an interview
  • More than one solid class in drawing anatomy

Sometimes I wonder sometimes why we seem to have done away with the apprenticeship model of education. If so many of us are focused mainly on getting a job, why do we have to spend thousands of dollars on a mostly theoretical education?

What do you think? High school or college, what wasn't covered in that should have been? Should colleges be more career focused or should they focus on learning for learning's own sake? and what about apprenticeships?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Cafe Creative

We're there. Right now.
We're the 20-somethings, we're done with school, at least for a while and we have been dumped into this world of rent, loans, car payments, and health insurance with little more than maybe a degree and our own wits.

I hope some of my possible readers out there have more going for them than this but lets be honest. With the recession and the obscene cost of college we're all just a bit desperate right now and the mountain that is our career looms in front of us like Mt. Everest covered in barbed wire. Most of us have no clue what we're doing, and that more than includes me. Very few college programs, let alone high school ones offer rational and real life advice on getting a job. There are blogs out there on networking, and job advice but they all seem to be written by men and women in their 30's and 40's who are already established. They have good advice, yeah, but I couldn't find anyone who was writing about the immediacy and the interests and the passion of the post college collective.

I won't claim I know what I'm doing and I may contradict myself on more than one occasion. I'll certainly be referencing people who know a lot more than me and I'll hopefully be including a number of interviews with people all across the board.

I write from the perspective of a BFA graduate who loves programming and discussing human computer interaction, and this blog is dedicated to the 20-somethings, like me, who know they want a career but haven't been able to figure it out just yet, and the obscene about of coffee we'll be consuming along the way.