Post-college tests could help job seekers

Post-college tests, such as the CLA+, could help non-elite college graduates prove their competence to potential employers.  Grade inflation has eroded the signaling value of a college degree.

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  1. Mark Roulo says:

    Alternately, the CLA+ could help non-college graduates prove their competence to potential employers …

  2. Given the number of resumes I’ve seen in the last 10 years from college graduates with grammatical and spelling errors, I wonder if the CLA+ (or anything else) would actually be helpful?

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    Given how many complaints I have read of the sort, “We want but can’t find people with basic math/grammar/spelling skills,” it would seem that there is a public good in some sort of honest certification that, yes or no, this young person can or cannot do basic math/grammar/spelling.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      The resume itself often answers the grammar and spelling (also the “attention to detail”) question.

      • Mark,

        I would agree with this, if the employment ad states ‘attention to detail’, I’d have to say it would start with the resume or C.V. that the person submits (which is probably the first test if the person will get an interview or not).

  4. We have the CPA exam, the EIT exam and the Nursing Boards – gee, guess which majors have jobs to fill?

    • What is the EIT exam?
      The PE (Professional Engineer) is another certification with meaning, as is the CFA (Certified Financial Analyst). The latter has three sequential tests (with very high failure rates) and requires a certain number of years working in finance, although the tests can be taken while working to meet the experience requirement. It’s pretty common for certification/passing all three tests to result in a pay boost and some jobs will accept certification as a proxy for an MBA degree.
      Also, nursing also has various higher-level, specialty certifications, which require both passage of further exams and work experience in the field.

      • Here are the requirements to become a P.E. (professional engineer), and you already have to have a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. in Engineering before you can even sit for the exam:

        Earn a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program.

        Pass the FE exam (this exam is 6 hours long, btw)

        Gain acceptable work experience (typically a minimum of four years). In most cases, this must be completed under the supervision of a P.E.

        Pass the PE exam in the appropriate discipline.

        Now, IT certifications are another matter, as those can be obtained through self study, building your own lab at home, work experience, or college coursework (I know, I hold several).

      • Elizabeth says:

        My bad. Getting old. The EIT (Engineer in Training)is now the FE. I was trying to show all of the exams taken post-college that are based on what is presumably taught in college.

  5. Also, it was reported on slashdot that some 35,000 electrical engineers lost their jobs in the U.S. last year:

    Despite an expanding use of electronics in products, the number of people working as electrical engineers in U.S. declined by 10.4% last year. The decline amounted to a loss of 35,000 jobs and increased the unemployment rate for electrical engineers from 3.4% in 2012 to 4.8% last year, an unusually high rate of job losses for this occupation.

    Link to article:

    • Elizabeth says:

      Bill, unfortunately Engineering employment has large fluctuations. For instance, the last recession really dampened Civil Engineer demand.