On air: Are graduates entitled to a job?

The case of Trina Thompson is making waves around the blogosphere at the moment.

University graduates Trina graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Monroe College in New York in April. A full three months later, Trina says she hasn’t been able to get a job and so she is suing the college for the $70,000 she spent in tuition fees.

Then college says the lawsuit is “completely without merit”, and many bloggers agree, but the BBC is getting a lot of comment from people around the world who say that if university graduates go through the pain and effort, not to mention the expense, of a gaining a degree, they should definitely be entitled to a job at the end.

From Martin in Canada

I totally agree with Trina. In today’s society, virtually all professional degrees people go for require you to spend years in a post-secondary institution. If people could simply buy the books, learn on their own, and only pay someone to supply examinations and print certificates, then this would be fair. But instead, we all have to pay some useless teacher so that he/she can have a job, and so that the university or college can have a business.

And this from William in Nebraska:

Colleges here do sell themselves almost like hucksters, making in many cases false claims about how a degree program (paid by the consumer to them for class costs) will result in enormous increases in pay, and better more secure jobs.

Trina says the college didn’t provide her with the leads and career advice it had promised. But is it up to the college to help you to get a job?

The deeper question is, if you spend time (usually three years) and a lot of money gaining a degree in the belief that it will help to make you a more attractive candidate, are you any more entitled to a job than someone who has high school qualifications, or less?

If you and your family have had to make sacrifices in order to get you to university, are you right to have some belief that it won’t be in vain? That’s what this blogger who agrees with Trina’s law suit argues.

Many of the people I went to university with definitely saw themselves as being more worthy of jobs than people who don’t have degrees, and certainly the fact that they had shelled out tens of thousands of dollars pursuing that degree just reinforced that belief. It could be just the people I went to university with, but something tells me it’s more widespread.

Degrees are supposed to put you in an elite band, but does that make you any more entitled to a job? And with more and more people getting degrees, should graduates’ expectations change?

155 Responses to “On air: Are graduates entitled to a job?”

  1. 1 Roy, Washington DC
    August 3, 2009 at 14:38

    No, they aren’t. One of the things they need to realize as they begin their college education is that there will be a lot of competition for jobs when they graduate, and it may be a while before they get a job in their field.

    It took me nearly two years after I got my degree to find a job in my field, and no, I never even thought about suing my college.

    • 2 raymond
      August 3, 2009 at 19:20

      I believe university tuition costs is a key factor here. Presently in the US the amount of university debt often put people in a very desperate circumstances if they graduate with a major in the social sciences or in the arts. I will be attending the University of Aberdeen in the fall for my post-graduate work, whose international tuition is about the same as in-state tuition in Illinois.

      My first degree was in Sociology (’92), which I received high marks and had multiple volunteer opportunities. I did get in the door and took a minimum wage job and worked my way up in an agency. Today, financially, I would not have the opportunity to ‘work my way up’ due to the great increase in tuition and the strength of the debtors to pressure the lender. This may be more of an issue in controlling tuition costs than anything else, since without crippling debt an individual has many more options to move towards the carrier they desire.
      Thanks for your consideration,

  2. 3 Tom K in Mpls
    August 3, 2009 at 14:38

    The only entitlement or right anyone rates is a chance to try. Everyone deserves an equal chance, but in life, there are no guarantees. As it states in the US constitution ‘the pursuit of’. So, good luck and have fun.

  3. 4 Ramesh, India
    August 3, 2009 at 14:59

    Let’s start the week with a fun story. All the Monday syndrome has vanished out of me! Thank You Trina!!

  4. 5 Steve in Boston
    August 3, 2009 at 15:00

    Not only are all college graduates entitled to a job, but after all the time, money and effort they put into their studies (not to mention the debilitating loans required for most people to afford room, board and tuition), they are entitled to a decently-paying job with benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, tuition benefits, day care, and employer-funded retirement.

    The government should penalize employers who fail to meet up to these expectations, and colleges should be required to refund a portion of each graduate’s tuition in inverse proportion to post-graduate starting salary and benefits.

    If a college graduate isn’t able to make at least an upper-middle class living soon after graduation, then clearly the college should not have graduated that student, and has failed to live up to it’s side of the contract–express, implied, or otherwise.

    • 6 Tom K in Mpls
      August 3, 2009 at 15:25

      And when the reality of economics says the cost isn’t worth the reward, are willing to pay them from your own pocket, I’m not. I am not saying a college education is bad, but in any case, when you put more money to anything, the cost will always rise. Attendance = money. Also, if the market wants something, it will pay. So if the jobs are there, it was a good choice. Students have always gambled with their future. Sometimes they need to just stay current and wait for their time to come.

    • 7 Peter from France
      August 3, 2009 at 18:14

      Well if she couldn’t find a job before… She will never find one now. After telling the world she is ready to attack the people who have been trying to help her for several years (her university), what would a future employer think? Would you hire her now?
      What has happened to responsibility to ones self and our own means to get along in life. That being said the “education industry” promises everything to get students to pay their fees.

    • 8 Anna, Palestrina, Italy
      August 5, 2009 at 08:52

      You don’t go to college to get a job. You go to college to get an education.

  5. 9 Steven T.
    August 3, 2009 at 15:01

    This is silly. A college can only guarantee the right to attend classes that lead to a degree, not a job. If she can’t get a job, it’s probably due to poor interviewing skills, not her school.

  6. 10 patti in cape coral
    August 3, 2009 at 15:05

    I have to agree with Tom on this one, no guarantees in life.

  7. 11 Jennifer
    August 3, 2009 at 15:08

    Are graduates entitled to a job?

    If you can find one; sure! 😛

  8. 12 robert
    August 3, 2009 at 15:10

    It is the responsibility of the education system to provide a decent standard of education. Thats all. It is the responsilbility of the student/graduate to absorb this training and use it to get the job they desire.

  9. 13 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 3, 2009 at 15:11

    Of course not. She started her IT degree during the boom when many well paid jobs in that field were available and the circumstances have now changed, so it is unjustifiable to hold the university to account for the fact that she can’t get a job.

  10. 14 Elizabeth in Indianapolis
    August 3, 2009 at 15:18

    Higher education is an investment, and like with most investments, you are not “guaranteed” a good return on a college degree. Graduates need to be solid candidates in their respective fields from a competitive standpoint, but they also need to be realistic. The job market changes daily, and if enter an industry currently offering no job prospects, one can hardly blame the college/university for that! Those studying to become teachers should know not expect a high income stream and, similarly, if you choose to major in philosophy or underwater basket weaving, you have to anticipate your likely job outlook. Oh, and by the way, I’d be that nobody forced Ms. Thompson either to attend a private (and therefore much more expensive) institution or to amass $70K in debt! Students have a choice about where to study, and yes, in this country, students shoulder the burden of the cost of higher education, but there are *always* more cost-effective options out there. You have to be realistic about your budget while in school, your likely job/income prospects and your ability to repay any debt you incur. I guess the lesson here for her is to grow up and take responsibility for her situation.

  11. 15 Rahul Goel
    August 3, 2009 at 15:18

    We all have sympathy for her. But the college can’t be blamed for the reason that she did not get the job. The college has provided her the education, right knowledge & most importantly, it is very much difficult for a college to distinguish among its students. One should learn to appreciate this thing because sooner or later, she will be getting a job based on this knowledge only. It is the very unfortunate Economic Recession that has caused the trouble. Infact , I would suggest you Trina that you are fortunate enough that you are a fresher not a employee. The problems are much more & severe also when you have a job & then get fired.
    In my opinion, this blame-game will only aggravate the current situation.

  12. 17 Gary Paudler
    August 3, 2009 at 15:21

    Sorry Trina, you’re not entitled to a job just because you spent a lot of money on
    a bachelor’s degree. Is that degree inherently better than one earned at an inexpensive, in-state public college? Does that degree insure that you are hard-working, well-socialized, articulate and more professionally capable than all the
    other candidates for the jobs that you haven’t been offered? Obviously not and with this stunt you are warning all future prospective employers that you are bitter, litigious and combative, that you spend money unwisely, have unreasonable expectations and blame others for your failings. Don’t forget to update your resume.

  13. 18 Konstantin in Germany
    August 3, 2009 at 15:22


    Being accepted into a job requires a bit more than a degree. It requires, among others, the right personality. What use is a straight A student, if he/she is for example not able to work in teams?

    In Germany, we have much job seeking graduates of philological studies. There’s no need for them. So how could they be employed anywhere, if there’s no need? On the other hand, the market is great for graduating engineers.

    Among us students and graduates here, there is NONE who’s thinking about sewing the university for not getting a job. It’s just too ridiculous.

  14. 19 Malc Dow
    August 3, 2009 at 15:26

    Oh dear oh dear! It’s April the 1st already?!
    Maybe Trina should be a lawyer! She could represent all those students, tort style…

    Why, I ask myself, after all that edukashun, can’t Trina and her ilk be Employers rather than Employees? Is that all ‘higher education’ is worth? To make you into a more eligible Employee? How very sad. It is a sad reflection on the education ‘system’ that it can’t, even on a higher level, produce what might be called ‘a bit of imagination’, and it is a sad reflection on the mentality of Trina and the likes that they feel they have a right to ‘blame’ anything other than themselves on this lack of imagination.
    Go on Trina! Spend a little time in Afghanistan, or Mali, of Darfur, or… well stick a pin in the map, and then come back (if you’re lucky) and winge about poor little you and that nobody will ‘give you a job’! With an attitude like that, I wouldn’t give you a job! I would be looking for someone who could Think For Themselves. Obviously a subject not covered by the higher education curriculum.

  15. 20 John in Salem
    August 3, 2009 at 15:30

    The only thing a degree can offer you is an advantage over other applicants who don’t have one. If you don’t want to compete you”re free to start your own business.
    What bothers me is how anyone could go to all the trouble and expense of attending and graduating from college and still be stupid enough at the end of it to think the world owed them a job.

    • 21 Venessa
      August 3, 2009 at 16:44

      @ John,

      Not only that, the debt is too much but she can afford to sue? Wow, there are some priorities. The entitlement generation at work.

  16. 22 Nigel
    August 3, 2009 at 15:35

    A universtity degree is not a guarantee of employment. I have interviewed many people with degrees and more without degrees but with experience and in both categories there are people among them who I wouldn’t let wash my car………..degree or no degree, experience or no experience. I don’t know this young lady but cannot conceive how such a case could get before the courts. If we are taking the human element and things like phsycometric evaluation out of the recruiting formula then we are putting a piece of paper before all the other important things that people need to have before they can contribute to the team that their job is a part of.

  17. 23 Bob in Queensland
    August 3, 2009 at 15:38

    Of course graduates aren’t “entitled” to a job and, in a sane world, this lawsuit is doomed to failure.

    However, it does point up an important issue. A system where graduates are saddled with a debt of this magnitude before they even start their career must surely be unsustainable.

    • 24 Ernesto de la Cañada
      August 4, 2009 at 18:15

      It all comes down to money. Everything becomes a commodity. Education used as a means to earn more becomes meaningless, like somebody studying medicine for the status of being a doctor.
      However, used as a journey to self-improvement, spiritual enrichment, to finally leave the world a better place, is a different thing all-together.
      “The system” can ask for so much money exactly because we all have become so materialistic that idealism has become a dirty word.

  18. 25 Rob (UK)
    August 3, 2009 at 15:48

    Geoffrey Miller in his new book ‘Spent’ argues coherently and convincingly that higher education institutions are little more than guarantors of IQ. If we would all just take an accurate IQ test at 18, there would be no need to spend $70,000 on a 4 year degree course, because employers would know who was worth employing and who wasn’t.

  19. 26 Nishard, Trinidad
    August 3, 2009 at 15:48

    Trina, Are you implying that you are being rejected from jobs in your relevant field because the quality of you degree is not being recognized, if so then that would be the only legitimate concern you can claim.

    Unfortunately, even after years of study we are not guaranteed anything, and as was said before it is an investment; and with any investment the past returns are not a guarantee of future profits.

    The question also lies in what have you don’t in give your self the edge to make employer’s want to hire you especially in these economic times.

    I must say also that i had a friend who waited our six months to get a job worthy of her degree, but she got one and now she is at the top of her field… so a bit of patience may also apply here

  20. 27 steve
    August 3, 2009 at 15:52

    Wow. unebelievable how Gen Y that story is. SUING a school because you cannot get a job? This is why the US system of everyone going to college is so pointless. Any such lawsuit is going to be dismissed and any attorney bringing it would probably get sanctioned for bringing such a frivolous suit.

  21. 28 Anthony
    August 3, 2009 at 15:53

    Nope. I know PLENTY of people who graduate, but are stupid and don’t retain the information they have learned. Some people were meant to become doctors, some carpenters, and some food service.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    Funny Story:

    Years back I was in Retail Management, so many of the other managers had degrees. A lot of community colleges, and also a few from USC and UCLA. I had NO real college yet was doing the same job as these guys. I think people really need to think about their majors, and what kind of job they can get with those.

  22. August 3, 2009 at 15:57

    James from Kenya
    As much as I sympathize with Trina for failing to get a job, I think she is just overreacting for nothing. Here in Kenya there are hundred of thousands graduates jobless hell, if they decided to sue my government it would end up broke like MC Hammer. And even the graduates with jobs are at times paid poorly. She should count her blessings and see it as an opportunity to come up with a creative ideas that can even make her more money than being employed. After all she is in America where the society works and one can start with nothing and rise to worldwide success.

  23. 30 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 3, 2009 at 15:59

    Hi WHYSers!

    As one who is part of the degree trained crowd, I am inclined to say yes to the question above. However, reality tells me that the issue of job training is not always the same as academic certification. Many people who are academically qualified still have to undergo some amount of training in the area that they work in. If a degree programme insisted, as did some of my undergraduate professors, that you needed to continue learning after leaving university, then perhaps people with degrees would not be as arrogant in their expectations that way. The truth though is that some skills can only really be taught in a university setting such as medicine, law, actuarial sciences, even media and communications, which means that it is not at all unreasonable for these people to expect to find jobs after graduation. After all, these are skills we are told modern society needs to function apppropriately. The trick, of course, is to balance expectations with a more humble attitude and the grim realities of contracting economies worldwide!

  24. 31 steve
    August 3, 2009 at 15:59

    Also look at her age. She is 27. When I applied to and was accepted into college, I was 17, not a legal adult. Even then, i never had the attitude that I was entitled to a job, and I went to a much more prestigeous school than she did, and I had a worthless degree, so I did the only thing I could think of, and go to law school.

  25. 32 Chintan in Houston
    August 3, 2009 at 15:59

    College is just like any other investment option; you invest money in a degree/diploma thinking that you will make more out of it in return. So just because your investment went kaput does not mean you can blame the college. You have to look at courses and degrees that colleges offer and figure out for yourself if this is worth the time and money and pick one that has a good career prospect. Colleges are institutions that provide higher learning and make money at the same time; you wouldn’t be paying so much money if you didn’t think it was worth it now, or would you?

  26. 33 crossfitatx
    August 3, 2009 at 16:02

    Bob, this young lady chose a route that resulted in this level of debt for her degree.

    There are plenty of other avenues available to a college degree that do not result in burdensome loans.

    She could have joined the US military for four years and had her school paid for free and clear when she was finished with her enlistment.

    She could have attended a state school or community college and paid for her tuition each semester in full (while she maintained a full-time job).

    The worst part, though, is through this lawsuit and now world-wide infamous story, she’s become almost unemployable.

    I know I Google all prospective candidate for jobs now. Lots of interesting information to be gleaned. And the first thing that will pop up when a prospective employer searches her is this story and lawsuit.

    Would you hire somebody so quick to blame others for their problems and someone so quick to jump to frivolous lawsuits? She sounds like an HR nightmare.

  27. August 3, 2009 at 16:06

    Morocco has been the scene of protests by unemployed graduates in front of the parliament. These scenes have become a common sight for more than ten years. The graduates’ demand is to get a job in the public sector as working in the public sector isn’t a guarantee of a job for life.

    In the case of Morocco, although graduates get a free education at state universities, they still feel it their right to be secured a job. The problem is that many of them have degrees that don’t fit the market. Many of them are offered to work in the education sector.

    In the case of poor graduates, they have the right to get a job as they spent their years of study in material hardship for a better future only to be confronted with joblessness.

    • August 3, 2009 at 17:14

      oops! I mistakenly wrote: The graduates’ demand is to get a job in the public sector as working in the PUBLIC sector isn’t a guarantee of a job for life.

      I mean: The graduates’ demand is to get a job in the public sector as working in the PRIVATE sector isn’t a guarantee of a job for life.

  28. 36 Tony from Singapura
    August 3, 2009 at 16:15

    Unless there was some expectation set by the university that a job would be forthcoming, I dont agree with her point.

    You go to University to qualify yourself for a job in competition with all other graduates (and non-graduates). The best will get the job.

    Having a degree is just the starting point in a lifetime of learning. It is really important when you are young, however the importance drops off as the years go by.

    I certainly didnt have such an expectation when I went to University, but that was a very long time ago now.

  29. 37 Ramesh, India
    August 3, 2009 at 16:16

    If a graduate can sue the University, what is the minimum time he/she should remain unemployed? Definitely not 3 months! I wonder wouldn’t be Trina required to pay the lagal expenses to the university, when(not if!) she loses the case?

  30. 38 Ramesh, India
    August 3, 2009 at 16:22

    Out of court settlement – The University should offer Trina to study for one more degree free of charge; Buy one, get one free!!

    • 39 Maxine
      August 6, 2009 at 07:31

      Sorry Trina, the world doesn’t owe any one a living. I’ve know many a History grad and Philosophy Grad who drive taxes for a living. The market place is the employer. My grand daughter for instance was snapped up as a Civil Engineer.

  31. 40 nora
    August 3, 2009 at 16:25

    For those who think an in-state college education is always cheaper, look at what has been done to the University of California. Between my oldest child and eight years later when my youngest went, there was 100% inflation in cost. More in housing costs. The Regents who run the system cannot raise tuition easily so they add ‘fees’. They sent out letters to parents like me that congratulated me for having a child in good standing, then told me that to guarantee her spot in the fall I needed to pay an extra 1,500 dollars within 30 days. Extortion. I paid.

    Following Trina’s logic, those who paid should be guaranteed a job, while those who couldn’t lost their spot at the U.

    In a recession we should have a no-interest extended period for pay back on the loans. Better yet, public financing of education.

    Trina will be OK eventually, as IT is very prejudice against people over 50. Burn ’em and toss ’em. But, she is probably setting herself up for less opportunity, as IT gives you sensitive knowledge and she has already shown her hand that she is more than willing to sue. Best to set up her own consultancy, as IT often hires people first as ‘consultants’ and ‘independent contractors.’

  32. 41 J. Augustine - WI USA
    August 3, 2009 at 16:35

    Ideally, I must side with Trina Thompson, but not for the reasons spelled out here. Colleges guarantee that their students receive the best education in proportion to the fees they can afford. Those fees pay for educational services, but not for an economy in which those services will be required. Competition is still the way the system works.

    But hopefully this discussion will lead to broader questions being asked. I entered college in 1981, when public universities were still easily affordable, and the sense of higher education being more than a path to a higher income was the prevalent mood on campus. The Reagan era changed all that, and I watched it happen.

    Yes. The University system has failed, but not in providing marketable job skills. Public education is essential to a democratic society because all citizens must be well informed in order to make intelligent choices about what is in their *common* interests. I can’t remember the last time I heard a University even promise to deliver on that unprofitable account.

  33. 42 kate in NC
    August 3, 2009 at 16:59

    As a member of Generation-E (Entitlement), I have to say that I understand where she is coming from, because this is the way that society has conditioned us: as college graduates, we all feel entitled to a decent, good-paying job. I graduated uni in 2005, and had a mediocre job right away, still making less money each year than I spent on university.

    It was character-building and made me grow up. I feel, particularly in the US, that many (especially well-off, suburban kids) are spoiled. We grow up hearing “You can do anything you want in your life: you can be a doctor, a lawyer, even president as long as you put your mind to it.”

    Unfortunately, (or, should I say, reasonably and logically), intelligence, personality, the type of impression you make on people, connections and networking, and the job market all have an impact on getting hired. It’s hard for us in Generation E, where many schools cater to students’ learning styles, where we have grown up with piano lessons and sports teams that all are at OUR level, and where we have this weight of responsibility that comes from the NEED to succeed because of all that is given to us as a child. We deserve it, we feel, because we did everything right. We went to a good school. We studied, we did internships, we participated in out-of-school activities.

    But life isn’t always what we see as fair or logical. In the adult world, things do not fall into our laps because we followed what we perceived as the right steps. Growing up means recognizing that we do not live in a meritocracy, and that we are not entitled to what we want or should have.

  34. 43 Venessa
    August 3, 2009 at 17:01

    Life isn’t fair and there are no gaurantees. I’m not sure why Trina thinks she is more important and entitled to a job when thousands are unemployed that also have degrees and far more experience than she does. They have bills too, welcome to life.

    Also things for Trina to consider: Has she ever had gainful employment before? Is her resume up to par? Does she have good interviewing skills? Does she have anything that sets her apart from the hundreds of people she is competing with?

  35. 44 saad,pakistan occupied baluchistan
    August 3, 2009 at 17:10

    I think just getting degree is not enough to be employed. What about the educational experience? If a person do self study and get more education experience required for particular professional field than a university graduate , in this case who is more entitled to job? Just GOING to educational institutions should not be criteria of getting jobs.It is completely non sense.

  36. 45 ecotopian
    August 3, 2009 at 17:11

    I think what might be making this young woman so mad is that she can’t find a job within her field of training. My reply is, so what? My husband has two art degrees and tests computer software for a living. Just because you get a degree, any degree, doesn’t mean that you will should get a job or that you will get a job in that field. Recessions are notoriously hard to get jobs. During the last big one in the early 90’s, I was holding down a subpar job while my husband worked in a cannery. We both had graduated from college and would have liked to get jobs in our fields, but sometimes eating is more important.

    Another point that is being raised on other blogs, like the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/02/unemployed-woman-sues-col_n_249544.html, is who is going to hire this person after this? If she thinks she has problems getting a job now, just wait. It just got a lot tougher.

    Whoever said pride comes before a fall must have been thinking of Ms. Thompson .

  37. 46 Bert
    August 3, 2009 at 17:12

    No, of course not. The going in position is always that no one is “entitled” to anything, other than the right to EARN future positions of privilege. Did she sign any sort of contract with the college that guaranteed a job upon graduation?

    Higher education is not meant to be a job guarantee. It is meant instead to allow individuals to reach their full creative potential. You hone your own mental skills, you learn how to learn, and then you should be more valuable to society. It’s the individual’s job, after graduation, to find their niche.

    The job of the academic institution is to teach. She might have grounds for a law suit if she didn’t learn anything and was still allowed to graduate.

  38. 47 Linda from Italy
    August 3, 2009 at 17:14

    What is education for? Just a bit of “leverage” to get you a better paid job? What ever happened to Neolithic (apparently) concepts such as broadening the mind, developing your intellectual potential etc.?
    A decent education may well enable you to a get rewarding job, in the widest sense, i.e. one that is not mind-numbingly dull, that allows you some freedom to make decisions for yourself and that you actually enjoy because it’s stimulating.
    I went back to university in my 40s, (dropped out in 1970) and I loved every minute of it, including all the extra-mural activities, and now work for myself in a field allied to the subjects I was studying. I actually earn considerably less now, in real terms, that I did in the 80s, but am so much happier and more fulfilled.
    Maybe we should restrict university to those who are prepared to appreciate it as more than a market commodity.

  39. 48 Bob in Queensland
    August 3, 2009 at 17:16

    Hmmm…a bit of investigation…

    You said that Trina’s lawsuit says that she did not receive the career advice and leads that she was promised. A quick search on the college web site shows that they say:

    Whether preparing for a career or simply need a part-time job, the Monroe College office of Career Advancement provides expert advice and valuable services to help you.

    Every student at Monroe College has a Career Advisor, who provides one-on-one assistance with career decision-making, resume and letter writing, and job search strategies. The Office of Career Advancement helps with career assessment, resume writing, job search and strategy, employer recruitment and placement, interviewing skills, and other job search guidance. Registering with E-recruiting allows you to view online job listings, post a resume to the database, and access additional web-based career resources.

    So, if she is specifically saying that she didn’t get these services as advertised, that’s very different than some of the blogs are interpreting the case. However, if she took the above as guaranteeing a job, she’s a very foolish person.

  40. 49 Alicia in DC
    August 3, 2009 at 17:21

    Trina needs to realize that she is not the only recent graduate dealing with this. Our country, and the world for that matter, is in the midst of a financial crisis. It is difficult to find a job right now and will continue to be for a while. As a recent graduate with a masters degree, who is fluent in three languages it was disheartening to settle for a paid internship. But, at least that pays rent while looking for something better. Because I just finished graduate school some of my loans have already entered repayment, making things even more difficult. Trina at least has a six month grace period because she is an undergraduate.

    Not being able to find a job right away is a part of life. It sucks, but life sucks sometimes. Learning how to deal with such problems is part of being an adult.

  41. 50 Chrissy in Portland
    August 3, 2009 at 17:22

    Not all colleges promise job placement. It’s the colleges that do and that don’t deliver are the ones I have a problem with. I definitely understand Trina’s frustration. Colleges shouldn’t be allowed to guarantee job placement just to get students to enroll in their programs. Would other businesses/organizations be allowed to flake out on their promises without any consequences?

    I attended a college that (quite convincingly, I might add) promised job placement after graduation as one of its selling points. Did they fulfill that promise? Not even close. Post graduation (and $40,000+ later), I had a call or two from the school to see how my job search was going. Hardly helpful and not at all what they promised. I like so many others young grads had to learn the hard way that it was up to ME to make my career happen.

  42. 51 Dave in Florida
    August 3, 2009 at 17:27

    In the U.S. we have so many people going to college that the pool of degree holders is diluted. Not long ago having a BA/BS degree, or greater, was an accomplishment and honestly did give you an advantage in the workforce. Now we have college/university graduates working in every industry right beside high school graduates. I use myself as a prime example.

    I am a proud holder of a BA degree in English, and a member of the Professional Organization of English Majors (POEM). Our motto: “Would you like fries with that order?”

  43. 52 Nanci
    August 3, 2009 at 17:31

    No! No one is entitled to a job just because they completed a degree. I’m doing a PhD—boy do I wish someone would have to give me a job, but it’s up to me to go out and find one.

    Sheesh, this girl just needs to grow up. Life is just hard and one has to work hard for things. She isn’t owed anything. Maybe she should take a hard look in the mirror and find out why she doesn’t have a job.

  44. 53 ofeibea
    August 3, 2009 at 17:44

    it all depends on the kind of job you want to do. if it is in your area of study, mostly it is a bit difficult getting one.

    i also believe that having a degree makes one so versatile to be able to do any job you deem befitting.

    if the college Trina attended promised her a job or said they will help her secure one, then they have the responsibility of fetching her one.

  45. 54 Sena
    August 3, 2009 at 17:46

    Every graduate is not entitled to a job ,but first he/she needs to service her nation for at least one year in other to a credit of experience. In Ghana, every graduate from either polytechnics/univesites need to preform this duty cos employers may ask for national service certificate n if candidate is unable to provide,she may forgo the job. before he/she gets a job must perform these task.

    Another point is that,a graduate has no experience in terms of praticals,even though theory procedures are provided him/her . he/she must know the field work to enable him/her to takle task by using the theory cos without pratical terms difficulties may araises and cann’t find solutions. so it is impossible for graduate to acquire a job without above points.

  46. 55 Aakanksha S Devi
    August 3, 2009 at 17:58

    Having just finished my Masters course and no job in hand, I feel let down a bit. It’s as if I’ve worked four years for nothing. I understand that the knowledge and experience is worth it but I do think that having a degree should guarantee you a job. Let’s face it most people didn’t go to Uni to gain the knowlege it was to get that BA or MA that would catapult them above others in terms of salary, job and long titles business cards.

  47. 56 halfnots
    August 3, 2009 at 17:59

    If their education was slightly effective, they should have at least learned what a degree is and isn’t. They also should have understood this before they decided to go to a university.

    People with higher education degrees are not alone. Many have degrees. They mean little. They are not a recipe for intelligence or even technical ability. At this point in time a degree really just says you are average—nothing more.

    Higher education, much like anything else, is useful if you need it (or want it), and useless if you don’t.

    This topic isn’t particularly interesting!

  48. August 3, 2009 at 18:03

    graduates should be realistic when training or taking a course for a degree. They should bear in mind that there can be a fifty-fifty chance that they can get the job they desire and for which they have invested so much money, effort and time.

    They should take into consideration that the market can look different between the moment they set foot in a college and the time they graduate. Their degrees can be worthless in view of the economic crisis that can affect their country.

    In general the current economic downturn worldwide has so much to do with the unemployment of graduates. Who knows, when the economy improve there will be demand for their skills.

  49. 58 Eileen in Virginia
    August 3, 2009 at 18:05

    There are several issues here: Having to borrow $70,000 to graduate is regrettable in itself. There should be subsidised further education for those who are able, but cannot afford it.

    The university’s responsibility is to provide good education. It cannot be responsible for a graduate’s failure to succeed in the job market.

    Further education is an end in itself. It better equips one for life in general. It is a privilege to receive it.

    This young woman is immature and unrealistic to demand compensation for her Disappointment, especially when only three months have elapsed since she started seeking work. The recession is undoubtedly to blame for making it difficult for everyone to find work at the moment.

    If she pursues this course she will find prospective employers unwilling to take the chance that she will sue them, when subsequently she doesn’t get the promotion she feels entitled to. If it comes to court she may need to change her name before she applies for further opportunities.

    While waiting for the job market to improve, why not take an entirely new tack? There are hundreds of opportunities for graduates to make a real impact in the world, where people are desperate for education; for example, in schools in South Africa. Experiencing their limited prospects might put her own into better perspective.

    Life doesn’t owe us a living. We have to make it happen for ourselves.

  50. August 3, 2009 at 18:08

    No, i don’t think she or any student have any authority or right to sue any particular university or institution for not having job, but the the right of suing they can have is only if they’re not being trained for which course they pay.

  51. 60 Drake Weideman
    August 3, 2009 at 18:09

    The whole process of getting a job is a difficult, oftentimes demeaning, process.

    One tries to increase one’s odds of getting that job by doing things like getting a college degree….but simply having that degree is NEVER a guarantee of getting a job, and anyone rational has to acknowledge that.

    Colleges guarantee one thing…if you complete specific program objectives, you will get a piece of paper (a degree) indicating that you have done so.

    How much that costs, or how you pay it is not a specific concern of the college, although they all do acknowledge it is expensive and they all have Financial Aid departments to help with that aspect of it….but the whole purpose of the college is to merely provide it’s students with a degree.

    She got her degree, the college’s job is done…if she is unable to turn her degree into a job, then SHE chose the wrong degree, or the wrong school to get the degree from, or the wrong geographic area to apply in…but the failure is hers.

  52. August 3, 2009 at 18:10

    No, i don’t think she or any student have any authority or right to sue any particular university or institution for not having job, but the the right of suing they can have is only if they’re not being trained for which course they pay.

    Thank you.

  53. 62 Matthew Newman
    August 3, 2009 at 18:12

    I agree with the college. The job of a college is to educated it students. In this we hope that the graduates are capable of searching for their own jobs. It is a difficult market for anyone to get a job in currently. Also, some fields have higher saturation rates then others, anyone going into these fields will have a harder time finding a job. It is the job of the student to ensure that they look like a good option for an employer. This can be done via extra curricular activities, internships, volunteer work, etc. By her logic someone whom spends years attending violin classes should be hired by an orchestra even if they are lousy.

  54. 63 Shanti Evans
    August 3, 2009 at 18:12

    Whatever happened to the idea that you went to university to learn something, rather than to get a job?

  55. 64 Stacey
    August 3, 2009 at 18:13

    This argument is supporting an invalid assumption that the only purpose of education is to get a job. If this student learned nothing else of value then SHE may have wasted her time and money, but that is not necessarily the fault of her school.

  56. 65 Mike in Seattle
    August 3, 2009 at 18:14

    The problem here is that all through out our elementary and secondary schooling we’re told by teachers and administrators that once you have that degree everything will be fine and you’ll have a good job and be able to support a family.

    When you graduate college, one finds that this isn’t the case. I don’t think that a college must promise you a job once you’re done, but with the sort of advertising that goes on, I can understand feeling mislead and lied to.

  57. 66 Matthew Newman
    August 3, 2009 at 18:15

    one other thing. I am in IT. I have been in it for 15+ yrs and rarely do we hire people fresh out of school unless they interned for us for a few years first. For the same cost I can get someone with experience and IT is about what real world experience you have not what you learned in schools as much. School proves your ability to learn, but does not ensure you know what the field requires.

  58. August 3, 2009 at 18:15

    People are not entitled to a job. However I am glad the young woman decided to sue the University. Higher Education is a business, point blank. And until consumers, the students and their parents, hold the Universities responsible for what they are selling; Institutions of Higher Learning will continue to raise prices without any probable garruntee of a return on investment.

  59. 68 Keith
    August 3, 2009 at 18:16

    This story is disgusting. A college doesn’t guarantee you a job, it allows you to earn a degree that shows your merit. Every college offers a career center that will help you find your job. I took advantage of it, built my resume, put it online early, and have been getting internships, so that I can have a decent job when I graduate- because I know that it is up to ME to get my job, not my college! In such a poor job market, if colleges had to pay every C-average student with a bachelor’s of the Arts that can’t get hired, they would go out of business! Preposterous.

  60. 69 Shaun in Halifax
    August 3, 2009 at 18:16

    I graduated in April from a fairly well-known university on the East Coast with my MBA. As yet, I have been unable to find meaningful work. I can find work doing labour, but nothing in my field yet. Do I feel entitled to a job? Absolutely not. Do I feel I should be able to find work? Yes.

    I’m smart, well-educated, can think critically and can write. But the economy has shed jobs and the older workers are putting off retirement for a few more years yet.

  61. 70 therelations
    August 3, 2009 at 18:17

    I have invested around $80,000 in my higher education and I have been graduated from Portland State University, in Portland, OR for the last year. I decided to continue taking post-baccalaureate classes the first three months after my graduation because of how difficult I felt finding a job might be.

    Since then, I have stopped taking classes, and I have not found a job. I have applied in-person to places like restaurants and cafe’s, and I have also spent time online applying to fields on job-service sites that relate to my major of study, which was art.

    The jobs I am looking for now are In New York, as I read an article before I graduated on the higher-possibilities of getting a job with room for advancement in the art-gallery industry in such a large city. I feel that I may not necessarily be entitled to a job since I have graduated, but it should not be this slow of a process, especially because I have used my university’s career services resources.

  62. 71 Mike in Seattle
    August 3, 2009 at 18:18

    Furthermore, this isn’t an issue of “entitlement” or “being spoiled”. Here in the United States we have to go deeply into debt just to get a degree, and we need to have that degree before we are considered for a wide variety of jobs, even those which don’t use the knowledge gained from a college education.

  63. 72 rob z.
    August 3, 2009 at 18:21

    I went to a school in the early 90’s,and they promised me job placement assistance.
    Guess what,it was the local want ads and out of town interviews I had to pay transportation cost to get to.
    I know there are no guarantees for employment after school,but college’s need to do better for thier students.
    Here in the USA,private college organizations are big money makers.
    You finance $20k to $30k for a AA degree for a job that may pay $30k a year,with luck.And $30k a year is not much,it barely keeps you off government assistance;if you have a family your’e just getting by.
    Furthering one’s education is a good thing,but don’t go broke doing it.In a country where the cost of living is rising faster than wages,is that $30k loan worth the $10 to $15 per hour job you get for it.
    Rob in Florida.

  64. 73 John (Las Vegas)
    August 3, 2009 at 18:22

    As a college graduate myself, I appreciate the effort put in to get a degree. However, I can’t see what should guarantee any graduate a job over someone who did not attend college. Certainly there is the hope of a well-paying job upon graduation, but the decision to attend college is, in some sense, a “gamble” just like any other decision concerning a career.

  65. 74 steve
    August 3, 2009 at 18:22

    @ therelations

    Problem is that there aren’t too many jobs in that area. I had a friend that went to Michigan with me, he paid out of state tuition for his art degree. He couldn’t get any work with that degree, so went back to school to learn something else which did get him a job.

    We have a saying here now, that the J.D. is the new MBA. You get an MBA these days, it doesn’t really help you at all. Now so many people go to law school, that many will not be able to be employed as lawyers after they graduate. Imagine owing money for undergrad and three years of law school AND having to pay for your bar review course and not having a job….

  66. 75 Phyllis , Naples Florida
    August 3, 2009 at 18:23

    Is the person suing because the University did not provide her the education and skills that are required for her to get a job??

  67. 76 John LaGrua/New York
    August 3, 2009 at 18:23

    I hope this question is rhetorical. The juenesse d’oree of this era have to grow up sometime.Life can be more bitch than beach but that’s when Darwin has his day,.painful but reality.Those who meet the challenge will in future be proud of their courage to face adversity .,those who don’t will lament missing an opportunity to perservere and win.”.Fait vos jeu”

  68. 77 Joy in Los Angeles
    August 3, 2009 at 18:25

    A university cannot be held responsible for the job market and decisions made by hiring officials outside of their institution. Bottom line, a university does not have a say in how companies hire, and therefore, are not responsible for this process.

    If a person can sue a university because he or she cannot get a job, can someone who graduated from secondary school sue because they did not get accepted at a university?

    More and more people simply do not want to be held responsible for their own destinies and are blaming whomever and whatever they can to justify their lack of success and happiness.

  69. 78 steve
    August 3, 2009 at 18:27

    What about people that go into 100k of debt for liberal arts degrees? Should the student loan lenders look at the degree the person is pursuing and use that in determining whether the loan should be given?

    In the US, there are federal student loans which are guaranteed by the government, you pretty much always qualify unless you don’t register for the draft. This actually enables people to get into massive debt with useless degrees.

  70. 79 Robert, Czech Republic
    August 3, 2009 at 18:28

    Do we all study only because we want to get a better (or some) job? What about a natural passion for knowing more about the chosen subject?

  71. August 3, 2009 at 18:28


    I think it’s not only your education which makes you a good employe. I am a helicopter pilot for which the studies cost much more than most people spent on their education. Of course you want to have a job you studied for but hey, it’s not always possible. There’s more to getting a job than just study.

    You have to learn in live that you are the only person in the world being able to give yourself the final good advise! Sometimes this lesson is very expensive, that’s live. Learn to live with it!

    • 81 Brad
      August 3, 2009 at 18:44

      It is a well known fact to employers here in the US that colleges have become businesses that have to maintain enrollment to bring in money. Dumbing down grades is a way to keep students enrolled. A low grade ( F ) has become a medium grade ( C ). A bachelors degree today really does not count for much and the same thing is happening for those with masters degrees. Universities are helping to saturate the market with mediocre graduates that are not skilled or experienced enough to be automatically hired.

  72. 82 steven from Malawi in Tampa FL USA
    August 3, 2009 at 18:28

    Having lived in the west for a couple of years i used to be of a mentality that once you get a degree the work is done, its just the begining. Its a matter of supply and demand and you will have to prove yourself every step of the way. You will have to stand out amoung your peers. Although all of us cannot be doctors or Engineers but we cannot compare such degrees to an English degree when you hit the job market. To blame the Uni is just an excuse. The problem we might have is over expectation without auditing your skills and how marketable they are in the real world.

  73. 83 David in PDX
    August 3, 2009 at 18:32

    No, this is education, not entitlement. Is the person who hardly studied and graduated at the bottom of his class entitled to less? You may be shocked to learn that they may already have found jobs instead of just wishing a job to appear. Drop the lawsuit and pick up the Help Wanted ads.

  74. 84 mers
    August 3, 2009 at 18:32

    As a US graduate student in the physical sciences for the last 10 years I have been humbled by the career struggles of my peers. Even with a Ph.D. I know there is no guarantee of a job when I receive my degree. Sad but true. I guess I’m “old school” enough to recognize that higher education is a privilege, not a right.

  75. 85 Nancy in US
    August 3, 2009 at 18:32

    It is difficult to determine which young people will turn out to be successful in any given career. Schools cannot predict that.

    So, if schools must guarantee a job after graduation, do we not allow students to enroll if we think there isn’t a very good market for this major? Do schools screen?

  76. 86 James Meehan
    August 3, 2009 at 18:33

    Please! Do me a favour! You pay your money and you take your chances! Life is a risk. There’s too much litigation here in the USA – the feeling of a great many people here is just don’t take responsibility for your actions and sue when something isn’t served up on a platter for you. It’s a free country. No-one makes you go to college and no-one is responsible for your career – only you! Grow a backbone and knuckle down like the rest of us. For goodness sake…

  77. 87 Susan in Michigan
    August 3, 2009 at 18:33

    I vehemently disagree with the woman from the USA who was just interviewed, as well as the woman who is suing the university. One can buy a fishing license, but that doesn’t mean one will catch fish. Americans (and I am one) are more and more often refusing to take responsibility for their own lives and actions.

  78. 88 Anthony
    August 3, 2009 at 18:34

    @ Lubna

    If thats the case the quality goes down, and only the privileged will excel.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  79. 89 KC in Uk
    August 3, 2009 at 18:35

    Yes graduates are entitled to a job. Students spend 3 or more years getting the necessary qualifications that will allow them to have a successful career. Jobs may not come instantly but it’s an expectation that once I graduate, I am considered for employment. If the whole purpose of getting a degree isn’t to get a job, then we should reconsider why students are told to go to university.

  80. 90 Keith
    August 3, 2009 at 18:35

    Furthermore, a capitalist country can’t survive if a government has enough control over the private sector that they can ENSURE A JOB. I can’t believe this many people actually think they are owed a job. There is no incentive to work hard if you are owed a job.

  81. 91 Hannah White
    August 3, 2009 at 18:36

    This debate is a capitalist one. Universities are academic institutions. Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are academic are not vocational and should not necessarily equate to an entitlement on the job market. (This might be a more appropriate debate when limited to vocational degrees such as social working or surveying).

    To gurantee a job having achieved a degree would be to undermine the academic nature of university degrees and also would be to alienate those sectors of society who are not able to access universities (let’s not forget degrees aren’t free!).

  82. August 3, 2009 at 18:37

    It’s epidemic, especially in the US that it’s always someone else’s fault.
    No one wants to take responsibility for their actions.

  83. 93 Thomas in Salt Lake City
    August 3, 2009 at 18:38

    Dear World Have Your Say,

    I definately don’t think that an education “entitles” you to anything. It’s a gamble just like any other investment. It’s up to each individual to capitalize on the investment that they and their families have made. 3 months isn’t enough time to finish a comprehensive job search.
    I would like to know more details about this case. Did the college make any promises that were not kept? What were Trina’s grades like? Did she have any personal problems with instructors or classmates? How many applications has she completed in the past 3 months? Has she turned down any job offers. Is she still looking for work or has her focus switched to this lawsuit? What are her classmates currently doing? What’s the big picture?

    Thank you very much,


    Thomas in Salt Lake City

  84. 94 Zach, Toronto
    August 3, 2009 at 18:42

    To entirely reduce one’s university education to a “Monster.com” ad is, in my opinion, to severely devalue the post-secondary experience.

    If one’s sole aim is to leave university with superior job prospects than one had upon enrolling, then perhaps it is the unemployed graduate who has done him or herself a disservice and not the higher learning institution.

  85. 95 Bert
    August 3, 2009 at 18:43

    To your guest from Kenya, the answer is supply and demand.

    The doctor may find an immediate job, because the need for doctors is great.

    The engineer may not have an instant job. In fact, it’s possible that engineers in Kenya would be better off CREATING their own industries, along with business graduates. There’s no reason to assume that “government” is there to spoon feed the citizens.

  86. 96 Phyllis , Naples Florida
    August 3, 2009 at 18:43

    To the young man from Kenya who thinks that employers should know that the graduates meet the requirements for the available jobs.

    A few years ago, in Malaysia, there were around 20,000 graduates who were not equipped to fill jobs.

    They fulfilled the requirements for their respective majors but were were not exposed to the languages that exist in the world of work.

    They just could not do the work. (I had experience with biomedical engineers)

    The government had to embark on a retraining program to prepare them for work.

  87. 97 Kale in Washington State
    August 3, 2009 at 18:46

    If the government (or a particular university) were forcing us to go to college and picking our majors, I’d think college grads were entitled to jobs. However, in the US, if you shell out cash for a degree, you get to pick what school you attend and what your major is when you’re there. I, for example, got a degree in women’s studies because I accidentally ended up with the classes while I was trying to stay eligible for college athletics. Is that my university’s “fault”? I don’t think so…I made the choice about what to major in – if I’d stuck with mechanical engineering, my original major, I would have had better employment prospects. In the end, it was my decision to prioritize sports over employment. That’s not my university’s fault – that’s mine. Fortunately, it all worked out in the end. I got a grad degree and a good job, but again, that’s due to my decisions after I got my undergrad degree, not my university’s decisions.

    If we want to hold universities or governments accountable for getting us jobs afterward, we have to give them the power to decide what we major in, and thus, what we’ll be doing the rest of our lives. Personal choice leads to personal responsibility.

  88. 98 Linda
    August 3, 2009 at 18:47

    In the United States Universities are a very profitable business. I have personally heard that some guarantee a job very loosely but with the disconnect between universities and the working world, this would be almost impossible.

    With 300 + applicants for the position I was able to get I know the demands on the market right now. It is far from fair but it is not up to the universities to get you a job. You are responsible for the choices you make. Do the research and make the right decision, through education or not.

    Further more since networking and social skills are so important it cannot be the Univeristies responsibly to get you hired.

    Linda in San Francisco

  89. August 3, 2009 at 18:48

    As a community college instructor and a field consultant I see a bigger issue in Tina’s issue. In the USA we have a strong industry lobby for H1B Visa and other visa programs in this particular area. These various VISA holders are holding tens of thousands of jobs that should be offered to our graduates. The program is supposed to be for “skills we do not have people for”. I travel 40 weeks a year to corporates sites across the USA. A large block of the students I train in advanced IT shills are VISA holders that got here on VISA without the required skills. These visa programs are really about cheap labor not labor shortages. These visa programs have also caused low enrollments in the IT field so to preceived job shortage there for handicaping the country for future workers. We could open up many thousands of IT jobs is the VISA programs where monitored and held to the intent.
    David Jacob-Daub
    Adjunct Instructor

    • August 3, 2009 at 18:50

      oops typos.
      I train in advanced IT shklls are VISA holders that got here on VISA without the required skills. These visa programs are really about cheap labor not labor shortages. These visa programs have also caused low enrollments in the IT field due to preceived job shortage therefor handicaping the country for future workers

      • 101 H1B holder
        August 3, 2009 at 21:36

        On what basis do you say that people with VISA’s get paid less than their American peers? I have a H1B visa and I consider myself a high skilled labor, and i don’t think my company has hired me because i am cheap labor. As a matter of fact it is otherwise.
        Just look at your colleges and universities, in almost engineering, technology and medical field you will find a decent number of faculty that are foreign born, so are you trying to say that these guys are reducing the chances of natural born citizens to teach?
        I did my graduate school out here in USA and there were no natural born citizens…..you have to ask the question y? if a foreigner can do it so can a local kid right?
        IIn fact H1B are given to ‘high skilled labor’, and they are a means of USA to get the most qualified and best minds from aorund the world, give them the standard of living they deserve in exchange of a fictional American dream.
        Most people are uncomfortable with outsiders olny canuse man is scared of the unknown, before this recession there were plenty of jobs to go around for American born or foreign workers.

  90. 102 portlander34
    August 3, 2009 at 18:48

    Universities and Colleges have become degree mills focused only on getting the enrollment to pay their bills, not on providing a quality education. It has become a society wide problem that graduates come out without the skills they used to be able to acquire with a high school diploma.

    Perhaps lawsuits are the first step in correcting this problem? Universities need to be held accountable for the way they pressure students into debt.

  91. 103 Keith
    August 3, 2009 at 18:49

    in response to the man who says you can’t have the necessary skills by graduation: I am just about to begin my senior year of my bachelor’s degree and I have had two paid internships doing the kind of work I will do after graduation. I go to a state school, and I have offered no more advantages than any other college student. It’s about putting in the effort before graduation to build your resume. You can’t party all 4 years and then be totally surprised when you’re unqualified for a job after graduation.

  92. 104 halfnots
    August 3, 2009 at 18:50

    Any degree can be useless. People are not cattle, that need to be herded to the most economically viable degree. There is more to life than “making it.”

  93. 105 Anthony
    August 3, 2009 at 18:50

    What are these school supposed to say to them? “I’m sorry, you’re too dumb and this degree won’t help you”.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  94. 106 Sarah Deal
    August 3, 2009 at 18:51

    I find this mildly infuriating. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in December 2005, with a 3.75 overall average, and an even higher average in my degree field. I had over two years of work experience relevant to my degree which I completed while I was attending university, including acting as the Assistant Registrar for my university’s fine art museum. I attended a London university for a semester during my junior year and returned to London the following summer as an intern at a London gallery – my college record was brilliant.

    I looked for a job for almost a year before I was hired anywhere, and not through any lack of effort on my own. I applied for well over 75 jobs all over the United States in all different fields – not just that of my degree – and was not hired until October 2006.

    The fact that she’s suing her university after three months of looking is laughable at best. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be networked into the job of their dreams shortly after graduating from university. I spent almost as much effort looking for a job as I did during my years in university – and even if it shouldn’t be that difficult, it unfortunately and undeniably can be.

  95. 107 Leslie
    August 3, 2009 at 18:55

    listening to you on line in portland oregon..

    chances are this person has ruined any chances of a future job – i wouldnt hire some one so ready have a temper tizzy and sue over not being some one worth hiring..

    if i was an employer – i’d put her on the list of never-hires because she would be “sue-happy” if she got a hang nail at work..

    its a tough market –

  96. 108 Marcie
    August 3, 2009 at 18:55

    While I agree that Colleges don’t have a responsibility to find you a job, I find it frustrating that after graduation, my univerisity hounds me for money. This isn’t my student loans; my debt is paid off. I am e-mailed and called on an almost weekly basis to pay because I’m an alumni. I have a great deal of frustration because I paid for my education, and do not have a job having anything to do with my degree. Why should I keep paying?

    Marcie in Indianapolis

  97. 109 Richard
    August 3, 2009 at 18:56

    Has ANYONE seen a student contract or at least the marketing materials from this school?? What were they promising or at minimum implying?

    Until we see that, we don’t know if the school has indeed broken a promise.

  98. 110 Laurel
    August 3, 2009 at 18:56

    I am a college graduate myself (bachelors degree and now working towards a masters degree), but I never viewed my college experience as something I was entitled to. Some people choose to go to college and work hard there, while others choose to go straight into the work force and work hard there. Both routs are an education. Neither of these groups should feel entitlement, but instead compete on a level playing field using the skills each has gained in their chosen path.

    If we favor those who can afford a college education we wind judging people based on how much money they have to spend, and not on hard earned job skills (whether they be skills earned in an institution, or on the job).

    On another note, It is a college students responsibility to seek out internships, career workshops and advice.These things help build a network to help during a job search. School is hard, searching for work is hard, and being in the workforce is hard. Nobody should get a free ride.

  99. 111 J.D.
    August 3, 2009 at 18:57

    No, of course we are not entitled to jobs upon graduating! However, the government should offer some support to those of us who are actively searching. I just finished my Master’s degree and spend every day searching for jobs and sending applications. Americans who get laid off from their jobs receive unemployment payments for a few months — why should those of us who have invested heavily in our education and are actively seeking work not receive similar levels of government assistance during these transitional periods?

    • 112 Venessa
      August 3, 2009 at 19:08

      @ J.D.

      People are receiving unemployment because they have paid into the system; its not a free thing. Those that are self employed are not entitled to unemployment benefits when they have not paid into them.

  100. 113 Dave Lou
    August 3, 2009 at 18:57

    If the lawsuit succeeded, colleges would then have to raise the bar on admissions so that only people who are good enough to have a job can be admitted. That would just cut down the educational level of the population.

  101. 114 Zachary
    August 3, 2009 at 18:58

    As a soon-to-be college graduate, I don’t expect the university to be at all responsible for me finding a job. I go to a private uni in the US, and while they aren’t obligated to help me find a job, they do offer resources to students to make finding a job and going through the interview process much easier than they would be normally. Regardless, a degree is no guarantee of a job, and if you think it is then you should probably go back to school.

  102. 115 ken
    August 3, 2009 at 19:00

    your degree simply tells a future employer you are trainable, wether they want to train you is up to the free market

  103. 116 moosa
    August 3, 2009 at 19:02

    im from maldives, here we dont have much problem to get job for graduates,each graduate is entitled to fix allowance for the degree they hold,so its matter of extara money,the sadest thing is these gaduates are lazy they dont do job perfectly, there certificates they use as a secure to their job

  104. 117 Stacey
    August 3, 2009 at 19:03

    According to the New York State Bureau of Labor, the current unemployment rate in NYC is 9.3%. In the Bronx, where Monroe College is located, the rate is 11.7%, the highest in the state. What exactly does this student expect her college to do?

  105. 118 tipsylife
    August 3, 2009 at 19:04

    I am sorry for this young woman. We are past what she says by more than a twenty year-gap in my country. Degrees are not so rare like they used and they no longer are as impressive as they used to and jobs are are mainly available for the well connected. Education system is now big business of ripping parents and gaulible aspiring middle classers. You are bound to hear someone having a degree of a career which does not exist. Its the high time people went for degrees that can help them in and outside the job markets.

    I am one of those that quit their jobs in order to do something that they like. Yes, I am not rich but I am happy. My academic education is behind me now and I have no regrets. Further more, I have this view of the world. “The Greatest University or College” is out there outside the gate. In short, I am more learned through rubbing shoulders with men and women in the open social life.

  106. 119 steve
    August 3, 2009 at 19:05

    @ J.D

    The reason why graduates without jobs don’t get unemployment is because they didn’t pay into the unemployment fund. it’s an insurance program, not an entitlement. it’s like if you don’t have life insurance, your family doesn’t get a life insurance payout because you don’t have the policy. You have to pay into it to be elligible for it.

  107. 120 Oliver in Victoria
    August 3, 2009 at 19:06

    I have to say no. Graduating university does not ensure you are good at a job. Automatic placement of graduates would take away the choice of employers to selecting better applicants from the pool.

  108. 121 Venessa
    August 3, 2009 at 19:11

    @ KC

    Do you think someone with more qualifications should be denied a job because you think you deserve one for going to school? Good job, but there are thousands of people who don’t have jobs that have degrees. Employers reserve the right to hire who they want. It doesn’t mean you aren’t considered for a position, it means someone else is more qualified in their opinion.

  109. 122 Jean
    August 3, 2009 at 19:11

    What a wonderful place the world would be if you could guarantee a job by whatever means… Getting an education is one thing, finding a job is another.
    Unfortunately education is just another consumer product which falls under the same laws of marketing whether private or public. How many times have you been deceived after purchasing a frozen pizza for it’s appetizing photo and taking it out of its plastic package?

    I just find it quite ridiculous to claim such a right. Job searching is the responsibility of each individual and you cannot count on anyone apart from yourselves, your skills, competencies and knowledge you posses, to land a job.

  110. August 3, 2009 at 19:13

    I heard some of this program returning to work from a Dr. Appt. and was surprised by the frequency of the interviewees who agreed with Trina. I was relieved to find that the vast majority of bloggers disagree.

    I do think many colleges and universities oversell their institution along with trade schools etc. etc. If these supposedly ethical institutions can’t police themselves then where are the newspapers columnists? The saddest thing is that having a degree is no guarantee that the individual learned anything while in school.

    F in WA State

  111. 124 John Outside Entebbe
    August 3, 2009 at 19:27

    I’m just wondering how she is going to return the knowledge that she paid for.

    It is an institute of higher education, not an institute of higher employment.

    P.S. Egypt used to have a policy that guaranteed every university graduate a job, led to a massive bureaucracy!

  112. 126 RightPaddock
    August 3, 2009 at 19:52

    Preposterous idea, the college promised to give her an education appropriate to the discipline SHE chose , if its done that then it’s fulfilled its obligation.

    It is not the colleges responsibility to educate Trina in “lifes realities”, that role ought have been fulfilled by her legal guardians; take them to court Trina, they should have told you that “life wasn’t meant to be easy”.

    If prospective employers are unfairly discriminating against you, then sue them.

    There are plenty of IT graduates with higher degrees and years of experience, who are out of work, who are they to sue?

    Microsoft was looking for new grads the other day to work for 4 months testing some of their software. These were contract jobs at $22.50/hr with no benefits, I wonder if Trina applied.

  113. 127 T
    August 3, 2009 at 19:59

    No they’re not. On the other hand, the nice days of NOT going to uni and finding a nice union job with beneifts and a pension are long gone.

    Which means in this global economy you need some professional training. There will always be the rare exceptions that make it big. But that’s what,10% of the total population?

    • 128 RightPaddock
      August 3, 2009 at 23:16

      @T – there’s plenty of jobs for which you don’t need university degrees

      In construction a rigger can earn $100.000pa with overtime, and those jobs can’t be offshored.

      In agriculture there are jobs where good money can be had, although you’ll need to travel. I’m not talking about fruit picking but things like contract harvesting, shearing etc and those sort of jobs can’t be exported to China or some place.

      • 129 RightPaddock
        August 3, 2009 at 23:19

        I should have added, “you don’t need university degrees, providing you’re prepared to work hard, and you’re prepared accept an element of physical risk.”

  114. 130 T
    August 3, 2009 at 20:00

    Sorry, make that .001% of the total population.

  115. 131 T
    August 3, 2009 at 20:02

    A problem. Should a law school grad sue their school if they can’t pass the bar exam?

  116. 132 Kathleen Staunton
    August 3, 2009 at 20:08

    Hey, I earned an MSc from the University of Leicester in 2005. I should proceed with a lawsuit because they haven’t landed me a job in my subject area? Trina Thompson is a spoiled brat.

  117. 133 Tracy in Portland, OR
    August 3, 2009 at 20:22

    I have no sympathy. It was Trina’s choice to incure the debt. What was her choice of fields? Engineering? I doubt it. Probably liberal arts like 90% of the rest of college grads. If you are going to spend that much to invest in your future spend wisely. And if your prefered field doesn’t show promise of a forthcomming job, don’t go into debt for it. And for heavens sake don’t think some random degree will get you a job anywhere just because you have a piece of paper. An English major isn’t going to mean anything to an accounting firm.

    Portland OR

  118. 134 Marco Polsen
    August 3, 2009 at 20:36

    Hi there –

    Are you making any progress with the podcast service? It’s been out of service since last Wednesday and today is the third show unavailable to the your listeners who can follow you only through that service. Please don’t leave us deprived of your daily discussions for too long! Thank you. Regards,


  119. 135 Sergio Joaquim Dique
    August 3, 2009 at 21:29

    No, no please no.

    While it is true that education is an investment, it is not the type of investment from which we expect direct results, even though that is what is hoped for.

    Education equips us not only for the direct money market, but for life itself.

    If at any time we agree to ask of schools for direct results, such as making our students working doctors, and engineers, we might create a even worse situation where those schools will require higher fees for the service, making it even more dificult to study. So where will the poor go?

    Will Trina ask of her college compensation for not having turned her into a Bill Gates, Richard Bramson, Nelson Mandela, or Angelina Jolie??

    She must join the team of unemployed people and earn a job. She actually is creating a very bad precedent.

  120. 136 Eileen in Virginia
    August 3, 2009 at 23:00

    If people think that a university degree is a passport to employment and a good career, consider this: a man I know who has a science degree and fifteen years experience in industry switched careers to teaching Biology because he felt he had a vocation for teaching.
    The first year he only managed to get a part time position as a Biology teacher. The second year they made the classes bigger and laid off the part time staff, to save money. Now he has an offer to teach drop out kids who are bussed in from surrounding schools for being disruptive in class. He is not expected to teach them science, just to supervise them. His salary: $35,000 a year. It works out about $10 an hour, same as stocking supermarket shelves. Would you like to support a family on that?
    A university degree is not designed to give guarantees, only education, and after that you take your chances.

  121. 137 Charlotte - Australia
    August 3, 2009 at 23:20

    I think that universities should have less intake of students so that there aren’t as many people running around with degrees – they should base the amount of students for intake on the amount of jobs that are available in certain fields.

    Universities often take too many students in order to financially support the university to keep running.

    If intake was less then there would be less people slaving away as students for years who did so just to claim a job that didn’t exist in the first place.

  122. 138 Chris in Washington State
    August 4, 2009 at 01:31

    To say that one ought to be entitled to a job after graduation is to acknowledge, with some complaint, that no such entitlement exists. To act as though there should be some such entitlement is unlikely to be empowering- and being empowered is really really important.

    As a prospective employee, you have control over your half of any prospective employment relationship- not the other half. You control what you bring to the bargaining table, not what an employer needs. And you should work on the stuff you have control over- that’s what’ll differentiate you from everybody else. As an employer, I’m interested in candidates who deal with the reality before them, not the one we’d all rather existed.

    All your degree gets you is some credibility in your claim to be able to think critically- presumably those years in college have got you that. Unfortunately, merely having that degree doesn’t necessarily qualify you for the work you want- after all, the person hiring you has requirements and if you don’t fulfill them, that isn’t their problem.

  123. August 4, 2009 at 02:13

    Yes. Graduates should be guaranteed a job.

  124. 140 Yasmine
    August 4, 2009 at 02:55

    well, look at me i’ve graduated in june 2008 and i haven’t yet recived anything. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think that Tina implemented her case, it was her choice to go to college to get a degree the college didn’t pressure her to do it. we are all in the same situation,

  125. 141 Linda P
    August 4, 2009 at 04:44

    If someone is capable of pursuing a lawsuit and garnering all sorts of publicity (which will probably land her a job), it seems probable that they are also capable of going through the process that all sorts of people–with many different levels of education–are capable of doing. Perhaps she has misplaced her frustration over the challenge that everyone faces upon graduating from college. If you want a job, use your time, money, energy, etc. to the process of getting a job (unless, your aim is to gain fame and capitalize on that somehow).

    Or, perhaps, the reason she did not get a job is exactly due to a possibility that prospective employers discerned something about this woman that made them think she might be the kind of person to jump to a lawsuit as a solution to a problem, instead of using her time and energy to solve problems in more productive way. Actions really do “speak” louder than words.

  126. 142 kit
    August 4, 2009 at 05:08

    she deserves to be jobless. simple as that. with this kind of attitude, she is not worthy to be employed.

    going to college is her choice, no one force her to. college is like any other products and services in society. its up to you to be smart about it by taking your results to the competitive job market and compete with others. that is how society progresses.

  127. August 4, 2009 at 07:05

    Yes, graduates are entitle to a job.Why do you think they went to school for? to sit idle or to better themselves through job? Whether there is competition or not they should get a job.Has anyone ever thought of what will happen should every body study for the most competitive jobs or most marketable jobs? If we say they should not get a job then I would advice that all schools are closed down and more prisons erected

  128. 144 Gert-Jan C. Prins
    August 4, 2009 at 09:37

    Leaning on a formal education as an entitlement to some lofty level without any practical applicable skill is just plain silly… On the other hand, saying one is able to chose the right field at the age people are forced to these day’s is silly too… Educational institutes should be held accountable for the advice they give relating to job prospects for specific studies. Students rely on that advice to make informed decisions and some are let down without a doubt. One must recognise that education is an industry in itself and that there is a fierce competition between institutes to get students in the droves to justify there existence. Hereby some institutes manage to misinform student about some studies and there real world implications… In the end, one doesn’t need a formal education for most fields and still be able to reach those wanted lofty levels. Education like starting at the bottom of the food chain is paying a tax of years to reach something. And properly motivated people will reach what they want, with or without a formal education. Yet, a formal education does shield one from perhaps important real world experiences and to deny this and claim that one is entitled to do the same things as people with applicable skills but without a diploma and then cry foul is plain stupidity. It’s reliance on the advice that was given by those institutes and is falls in itself. So perhaps ones realised that this advice was false, one does have a claim towards those institutes. After all, one was a paying customer for years, have been let down and al the least implicit promises have been broken…

  129. August 4, 2009 at 11:06

    if my dad has a company,it would be my constitutional right to be entitled to that job.but learning institutions can only entitle us with skills and knowledge.i think tutors in one institutions must know that out here there are also many other tutors and so if they all promised graduates jobs,they must keep the promise.


  130. August 4, 2009 at 12:30

    Sure they are, because that’s the whole essence of going to university, but it’s one’s own responsibility to find a good job and not the university’s. Universities are there to educate and train people, and when and where to find a job belongs to graduates themselves hence universities are accountable if their graduate is not finding a good job. It’s not their responsibility.

    On the other hand, governments may provide employment to graduates, but their capacity cannot allow for all graduates not even a half. Much of their duty is to create more opportunities for private sector development for more job opportunities.

    A university degree is just an eye opener for one to be able to view the world in another angle. It’s up to you now to sell yourself better to the employers. We’re living in a difficult world where one has to work his or her way out.

    I’m writing from Malawi.

  131. 147 Roberto
    August 4, 2009 at 12:39

    RE “” If the whole purpose of getting a degree isn’t to get a job, then we should reconsider why students are told to go to university. “”

    ———– Purpose is a matter of perspective. One needn’t have a uni degree to get a “job.”

    Students are told to go to a university so they can be properly processed by an educational industry modeled on modern livestock processing, fattening up units to be sold in bulk into the job markets.

    If you can’t be sold into the job market beyond the expiration date,you’re then thrown out with the garbage and get to be part of the newest growth sector, the educated homeless class where pickings are slim and none.

  132. 148 Divine
    August 4, 2009 at 13:09

    this is ridiculous. if education is so expensive and Trina thinks of having job at all means after graduation, let her try illiteracy. You have to become an entreprenure and contibute to the society. entrprenuers are innovators she could become an employer by creating job.


  133. 149 Larry
    August 4, 2009 at 13:19

    This lady is very silly. No one has the right to a job, even with a degree. Even with a degree you maybe not be very good at your job. Formal academic qualifications just get your foot in the doorway. Your personality, communication, people skills etc is what gets you across the line. Wake up lady, this is the real world!!!!!

  134. 150 Chris
    August 4, 2009 at 14:34

    Anyone who lives in NYC knows that the advertisements for Monroe College (the object of this young woman’s lawsuit) place a heavy emphasis on the value of their degrees and the near-miss chance it will find you employment. That being said, when you put all your hopes on a school that advertises so heavily on the subway, a buyer beware policy should apply. Any school’s promises can only go so far, the rest is up to the student.

  135. 151 Carlos
    August 4, 2009 at 14:40

    Universities are not to be held accountable if students can’t find employment. Now, they should be assisting them in what sectors of the work force has more possibilities of getting hired.

    I strongly believe that universities and colleges need to start teaching students real world material that is relevent to the workforce rather then theory and rhetoric.

  136. 152 halfnots
    August 4, 2009 at 17:40


    It is interesting how everything turns into a competition. Now we are competing about who is smart and who is not, who had the sense to get the “right” degree, just like the “fat” topic on Friday, we have the same thread: you made the “choice.”

    Then we have the “take responsibility for your actions” camp. In which everyone seems to be a member. One wonders who actually isn’t taking responsibility.

    We have all become so good at pointing out why everyone is doing the wrong thing. Why everyone is bad. Why everyone is acting like victims. If they only took responsibility! I guess we forget that focusing on how terrible “they” all are, actually turns us into victims! What a terrible loop. This is indeed our epidemic.

  137. 153 Dennis Junior
    August 5, 2009 at 05:34

    College Graduates are not entitled to a job, following graduation from University (or Community College in this particular case)….

    I think that she (Trina) should have prevail herself to the Career Services Bureaux at her school to get information regarding the current job market….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  138. 154 Kindi Jallow
    August 6, 2009 at 02:21

    I personally think the whole set of educational systems should be redesigned to meet not only white collar jobs. Education is a system where the moral and intellectual capacities of an individual are developed to make him or her a more active member of his society. A bachelors degree is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Hence you have benefited from the university education apply it in different situations to meet the job challenges and try to come up with objective solutions to meet your needs. To be graduated with a bachelors degree is one thing but to apply it in a competitive job market is another thing. All I mean is for you to be creative, enterprising and be a roll model taking the flag of the university to higher heights, but to sue your university will not bring you any good. That is all what the university can do for you but ask yourself what you can do for your country.

  139. 155 Dennis Junior
    August 6, 2009 at 03:04

    I am very hopeful that the Judge who will be assigned to the case, will *refused* to accept the case; and, throw the case out as a waste of court time…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

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