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Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
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Hell_Is_Like_Newark Offline
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Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
A while back, my wife was venting about how hard it was to find qualified people. She was baffled about how new hires would show a complete lack of critical thinking skills and the ability to perform functions involving basic math. This issue is with younger people (Millennials).

She wanted to give aptitude tests to all new potential hires (including temporary labor). HR shut that down. I explained to her about Griggs vs. Duke power and how that SCOTUS decision basically banned such testing. My wife (not US born) was given a series of IQ and aptitude tests as part of her application for employment, back in her home country.

A typical question: Your company has been hired to wash every window in every Midtown Manhattan high rise buildings. How would you go about figuring out what to charge?

Note: again, the purpose is not to get a $$$, but to have the person explain how they would go about getting the answer.

So I helped my wife develop verbal tests (on the order of what Google does) to see if the people can problem solve. These aren't 'fill in the blank with the right answer' type tests. These are more in line with seeing how a person would attack a problem logically. Later, my wife (having gotten HR approval) also added on some basic math tests. The tests are worded in such a way that they should pass the disparate impact criteria set by the Griggs decision. So far, every candidate has failed the math portion of the test. Here are the questions:

1. You have a men's jacket with a list price of $200. You discount it by 20%, what is the new price?

2. Shipping costs billed to us is $1,000. There are two parts of the shipment: 1000 unit black and a 500 unit block. What is the shipping cost on a per unit basis?

Her company is mostly foreign transplants now (not H1B.. but people who were born and raised outside of the USA). So far, they are the only ones who's college credential actually mean something.

We are creating a mass of young people armed with a degree but have no ability to think on their own. One girl interviewed, asked if she could call her Mom for help.

My employer (engineering) has issues as well. The biggest complaint is our junior guys being able to work on their own. If not directed like a friggin robot, they give up when confronted with difficulty. This frustrates the hell out of the senior guys, as they need to delegate tasks on projects.
10-20-2016 08:45 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
Let's see if i would get the job:

1. new price is 160$
2. Cost per unit is $1.50

Did i get the job?

Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

Shalom Alechem!
10-20-2016 09:14 AM
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AntiTrace Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
As having some exposure to teaching computer science college classes, and I can say that about 50% of the students I have seen would be hireable.

5-10% are high performers that will have no problem getting a job, and will provide great benefit to their employer.
25% will be an okay worker. Not a high performer, but not someone that needs to be babysat. This group will need more time than the high performers to learn a new companies systems. Overall, the will provide benefit to their employer.
20% will be subpar workers. They will be the weak links in the chain, requiring more time and more help performing duties. They still provide a benefit to the employer, but it is slim.

The rest are not worth hiring.

The biggest issue I saw was there was a general lack of laziness and entitlement. Students (minus the top % kids) would rarely do their homework. If they did their homework, it would be a half assed attempt with no attempt to check their answers. If something wasn't spelled out to a T abd a damn near exact example done in class, they couldn't analyze the problem in other terms to solve it. They didn't know, or simply just didn't care, where to seek out resources. I have students hand in programming homework, simple scripts, that don't even run due to a syntax error. Checking to see if a script runs takes seconds, and they couldn't even manage to due that.

In terms of entitlement, they expected study guides for exams. Simply telling them the concepts covered (last 3 weeks of material) was not enough. I am a very nice grader on exams, because they are closed book and a I don't believe that is realistic for real world situations. As long I can see the student understands the concept, I give credit even if the solution is not correct. sometimes that isn't enough to make them happy.

I've assigned programming projects. Some of the results I see show a complete lack of effort. Like they spend a total of 3 hours on it over the course of 3 weeks. Then they bitch when I threaten to fail them if they don't improve it.

I love it when I catch people obviously cheating. Copying code from the Internet or having the same exact solutions that I can tell were most likely copied from each other. I sit them down and ask them to explain what there is code is doing, line by line. Can't explain it to me? No credit.

A lot of students just simply treat a class as a check in the box for their course plan and didn't have the initiative to and desire to actually digest and learn the course content.

This is at a state level college. I'm sure Ivy League schools don't have these problems. And I have actually been rather impressed by the community college students that transfer over to the state school. I would put them on average above the traditional 4 year state school students.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 09:27 AM by AntiTrace.)
10-20-2016 09:26 AM
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AntiTrace Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Let's see if i would get the job:

1. new price is 160$
2. Cost per unit is $1.50

Did i get the job?

Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

Nope! Haha. Cost per unit is not 1.50. You are paying $1000 to receive 1500 units. Easier to calculate if you simply it down to a 2/3 shipping/unit cost.

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10-20-2016 09:29 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
^^ darn totally mixed up the order of my numbers. I'm assuming the cost per unit is .67 cents then right?

Shalom Alechem!
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 09:31 AM by The Beast1.)
10-20-2016 09:31 AM
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Hell_Is_Like_Newark Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Let's see if i would get the job:

1. new price is 160$
2. Cost per unit is $1.50

Did i get the job?

Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

The applicants have consistently failed those two questions, even when allowed to use a calculator.
Double check your answer for #2

Its a big issue as my wife's department is understaffed. They desperately need more people. If a temp works out well, they are offered full time positions. The company pays well and has excellent benefits.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 09:34 AM by Hell_Is_Like_Newark.)
10-20-2016 09:33 AM
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AntiTrace Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:31 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  ^^ darn totally mixed up the order of my numbers. I'm assuming the cost per unit is .67 cents then right?

Yeah it was worded a little odd. Had I been asked it in an interview I would have them clarify that I pay $1000 for one shipment of 1500 units (1000 of X and 500 of Y).

Technically it's .666666 forever, but yeah you would round it up to .67.


And as far the OP discussion on millienials. I can't say if it's a millennial problem that I see in teaching or if it has been that way forever but I am just exposed to it now.

God'll prolly have me on some real strict shit
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10-20-2016 09:34 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:33 AM)Hell_Is_Like_Newark Wrote:  
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Let's see if i would get the job:

1. new price is 160$
2. Cost per unit is $1.50

Did i get the job?

Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

The applicants have consistently failed those two questions, even when allowed to use a calculator.
Double check your answer for #2

Its a big issue as my wife's department is understaffed. They desperately need more people. If a temp works out well, they are offered full time positions. The company pays well and has excellent benefits.

Yeah, i blame my bad math skills on that one. Years of schooling have taught me that repeating numbers are wrong when the order of the variables matters more. That's something that has fouled me up continously for whatever reason.

At least i know how to discount things!

What are some common answers your wife would get for these? I'm assuming they'd throw out $40 and my 1.50$ answer.
10-20-2016 09:40 AM
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Hell_Is_Like_Newark Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:34 AM)AntiTrace Wrote:  And as far the OP discussion on millienials. I can't say if it's a millennial problem that I see in teaching or if it has been that way forever but I am just exposed to it now.

IMO, it is a problem with teaching and standards. When everyone needs a degree to get a job, the standards are lowed so everyone can get a degree.

Two years ago, I was assigned a project working in a ivy league university. The nature of the job allowed me to overhear a number of lectures given to the students.

One in particular stood out from my time there as a typical example. A history professor was screaming at his students; not in anger, but to drive home a point: "Don't let anyone ever tell you that the Civil War was about anything other than slavery!" He went on to rant about white oppression, etc... typical SJW stuff.

I have a minor interest in history and have read editorials and news reports from that era. There were a number of issues (in particular relating to trade and tariffs at that time). If there was actual education instead of indoctrination going on, the professor would have challenged his student to find other issues other than slavery, have them research it, develop an opinion, and then defend it with reason and evidence.

In other words, make the students think.
10-20-2016 09:45 AM
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AntiTrace Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:45 AM)Hell_Is_Like_Newark Wrote:  
(10-20-2016 09:34 AM)AntiTrace Wrote:  And as far the OP discussion on millienials. I can't say if it's a millennial problem that I see in teaching or if it has been that way forever but I am just exposed to it now.

IMO, it is a problem with teaching and standards. When everyone needs a degree to get a job, the standards are lowed so everyone can get a degree.

Two years ago, I was assigned a project working in a ivy league university. The nature of the job allowed me to overhear a number of lectures given to the students.

One in particular stood out from my time there as a typical example. A history professor was screaming at his students; not in anger, but to drive home a point: "Don't let anyone ever tell you that the Civil War was about anything other than slavery!" He went on to rant about white oppression, etc... typical SJW stuff.

I have a minor interest in history and have read editorials and news reports from that era. There were a number of issues (in particular relating to trade and tariffs at that time). If there was actual education instead of indoctrination going on, the professor would have challenged his student to find other issues other than slavery, have them research it, develop an opinion, and then defend it with reason and evidence.

In other words, make the students think.

I was always told "take teachers, not classes". And that's what I did in school. Two teachers specifically that I would try to take one of their classes every semester. Both were great instructors, didn't get all SJW on you, and actually wanted you to learn. I left them glowing reviews on the end of course evaluations, and they both received Tenure shortly thereafter.

Being a STEM field though normally keeps a lot of the riff raft professors out.

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10-20-2016 09:54 AM
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godzilla Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
OP I can answer those questions in 2 secs. It really doesn't matter though. As someone whose been unemployed recently, it's really about who you know and it's always been like that.

Kids are never going to learn the answers to those questions. Its not just the colleges, the employers don't require it, so why would they learn it. I suspect kids would study if employers want people with basic math skills. Most people dont want to hire someone under them whose actually smart anyway.
10-20-2016 10:36 AM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
The education system is a great example of how the tail wags the dog in western nations. Instead of churning out useful young people who can contribute to the economy it mostly just indoctrinates kids.

A century ago very few kids would attend university after high school, today most kids are involved in some sort of post secondary education. The majority of degrees and diplomas are without much value.

Our premier in Ontario is pushing a program that would see low income kids go to university completely on the taxpayer's dime. It will be a gross waste of money and will be a further burden on the already overburdened taxpayer. Now middle class Ontarians will have to pay for other people's kids to get an education as well as struggling to pay for their own kids as well.

This is how Liberals ruin the system through their inability to see the big picture. Of course I sound like some sort of troglodyte monster by opposing free education, but the education is hugely overpriced and not worth much. Most of the tuition money goes towards keeping the university Taj Mahal marble buildings clean, warm and maintained as well as paying professors $100k and more to teach Aztec basket weaving, pornography studies or vague "business and marketing" courses. It goes towards student unions, wasteful studies, focus groups, special interest clubs and a myriad of other things. Only a slim minority of a student's tuition money goes towards the actual imparting of knowledge, and maybe just a thin slice of that knowledge will actually do a young person any good.

Instead the Liberals in Canada double down on their idiocy. The education system needs to be fixed, what good is it sending more kids to get a faulty overpriced education on the taxpayer's dime? The Liberals would rather cater to the whims of their buddies in the unions and academia, they are powerful blocs in our country. Businesses will suffer.
10-20-2016 11:00 AM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

meh, how many people above the age of 40 don't know how to really use their smart phone or computer? Ask them how to transfer an MP3 to their phone without itunes, and see what type of response you get.
10-20-2016 11:02 AM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 11:02 AM)aSimpNamedBrokeback Wrote:  
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

meh, how many people above the age of 40 don't know how to really use their smart phone or computer? Ask them how to transfer an MP3 to their phone without itunes, and see what type of response you get.

Oh don't get me wrong. I made a career out of helping clueless boomers and gen xers with these confounded electrical desk gizmos.

Overall though, i have very little hope for my fellow millenial peers. If i became an elite later in life i'd be tempted to use my wealth to punish my jack off peers. Need to work through that and become more magnanimous.
10-20-2016 11:05 AM
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britchard Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
It's because your wife's company is probably hiring people with no numerical background, which is further exaggerated by the liberal arts style college education in the US, where even students supposedly doing quantitative degrees do loads of 'easy' modules/subjects.

Your average 12 year old could do the second question, and also the first one as long as they understood that the 'units' (1500) was the divisor, or the ^-1 term.

We should have a mathematics thread.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 11:06 AM by britchard.)
10-20-2016 11:06 AM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 11:02 AM)aSimpNamedBrokeback Wrote:  
(10-20-2016 09:14 AM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Gotta love millenial bashing threads.

meh, how many people above the age of 40 don't know how to really use their smart phone or computer? Ask them how to transfer an MP3 to their phone without itunes, and see what type of response you get.

Yeah. the thing is Millennials aren't so good at that either -

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/10/millennia...think.html
10-20-2016 11:47 AM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
Im all for a math thread. I suck at math and always wanted to get better.
10-20-2016 02:05 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
If you really want to fuck with their heads, give them a simple problem involving conditional probability.
10-20-2016 02:43 PM
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XPQ22 Offline
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
Student loan companies are nothing to fuck with, either. They will hunt you to the grave and beyond. People flee the country to get away from them.

This is what your weekend is like when you're delinquent on your payments to MOHELA:





Anyway, a quick mental hack for doing percentages for the more math challenged: When you have to take a percentage of a nice round number like $200, or the new price after a percentage discount say 20% of $200, do this:

First, if the percentage is under 100%, imagine the percentage as a decimal less than 1. So 20% becomes 0.2, 1% becomes 0.01, and so on.

Second, shift the imaginary decimal point on the right side of $200 one place to the left depending on the position of the first non-zero digit of the decimal is to the right. So 200 shifted one decimal point left becomes $20.

Third, multiply what you get by the value of that non-zero digit. 2 * 20 = 40

Lastly, if you want to find the say the new price of a 20% discounted item, subtract from the original number. 200 - 40 = 160.

If your percentage is over 100%, you do essentially the same thing, except add. So a 20% increase is $240. A 100% increase is $400. A 120% increase is $440.

If you have some percentage which doesn't evenly divide by 10, you just iterate. 19% discount on $200 = 10% discount + 9% discount = (0.1*200) + (0.09*200) = 20 + (2*9) = 20 + 18 = $38.

You really don't need a calculator if the original number has a bunch of trailing zeros. If you have enough free time, of course, you could use the above mental method for any weird number, simply by breaking it down into its components and iterating the iteration, like 237 = 200 + 30 + 7; though I'd probably just head for the calculator in that case.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 03:17 PM by XPQ22.)
10-20-2016 02:54 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
Funny you should mention those tests....

It's still very easily doable. P&G makes all of its applicants take a "cognitive ability test" in multiple rounds.


You also can get around it by implementing a practical exercise or a case study. A practical "case study" is frequently used by white collar firms to test for who has the basic analytical or mathematical aptitude to do the job.
10-20-2016 06:53 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
That said.....you should PM me some more information about the role. If she's open to experienced hires (vets and such) I've got some people I can reach out to.

Also my experience is that the skill dispersion is huge among millenials. I may have mentioned some generals about my background, but short version is that I interact with a lot of the undergrads at a top 10 US undergraduate business program semi-regularly. There is a world of difference between these guys and your typical "millennial": They're extremely polished presentation wise, can knock even the most complex technical questions out of the water without any visible difficulty, and have ambitious career goals with good strategic planning on how to get there. By contrast your typical liberal arts/sociology/psychology/gender studies major here makes the cast of Family Guy look like geniuses.


Quote:

Anyway, a quick mental hack for doing percentages for the more math challenged: When you have to take a percentage of a nice round number like $200, or the new price after a percentage discount say 20% of $200, do this:

Dude that is so much more difficult than just splitting it and then adding.

Try it like this....10% of 200....Easy, that's 20. so 20% = 10% + 10% -> 20 + 20 = 40.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 07:04 PM by Easy_C.)
10-20-2016 06:55 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 06:55 PM)Easy_C Wrote:  That said.....you should PM me some more information about the role. If she's open to experienced hires (vets and such) I've got some people I can reach out to.

I'll mention it to her. I suspect she will be open to the idea. The pool of labor she is drawing on just isn't working out too well.

The position is in the fashion industry and relates to tracking inventory, shipments, processing custom documents, etc. Its a lot of number related grunt work.

Guys who work there get a bonus of ordering suit samples that just happen to be in their size.
10-20-2016 08:17 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 02:05 PM)Mochihunter Wrote:  Im all for a math thread. I suck at math and always wanted to get better.

At some point, I have to retake the fundamentals of engineering exam (I passed the test, but the 'pass' expired years ago), before applying for my professional engineering license. I will have to re-learn integrals and non-linear differential equations. I haven't done a single one of those since graduating over 20 years ago.

I passed my high level math courses, but I never really 'got it'. At times, I just felt like I was regurgitating answers on tests without a true understanding as to what I was doing.

The level of engineering work I do involves mostly basic math, some algebra, and geometry.
10-20-2016 08:22 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
(10-20-2016 08:45 AM)Hell_Is_Like_Newark Wrote:  1. You have a men's jacket with a list price of $200. You discount it by 20%, what is the new price?

The usual version of this question (harder) is: You have a men's jacket with a discount price of $200. The discount that has been applied is 20%. What was the original list price? (hint: not $240)

(10-20-2016 08:45 AM)Hell_Is_Like_Newark Wrote:  Her company is mostly foreign transplants now (not H1B.. but people who were born and raised outside of the USA). So far, they are the only ones who's college credential actually mean something.

This is almost certainly not a reflection of the excellence of foreign university education but rather of the profile of immigrants who are professionals. Outside of the US, university education tends to be more narrowly focused. If they're not in STEM, they probably haven't done much quantitatively since early high school.

I once had an English (language) student, a lawyer, who needed to know how many days each month has in order to answer a test item we were practicing together. She had no idea and didn't seem ashamed of her ignorance. Yes, a millennial.

I also know a college graduate who asked me for a calculator in order to add 90 and 13. Without shame. Millennial.

That math standards have been dumbed down is an objective fact. Millennials, not having lived through that decline, aren't generally aware of it.

(10-20-2016 11:02 AM)aSimpNamedBrokeback Wrote:  meh, how many people above the age of 40 don't know how to really use their smart phone or computer? Ask them how to transfer an MP3 to their phone without itunes, and see what type of response you get.

Not a thinking skill.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 09:01 PM by ElFlaco.)
10-20-2016 08:55 PM
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RE: Modern University: Supplying debt ridden ignoramuses to the workforce
I am reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand at the moment. About 1/10 in. The book is written in 1957, but what is happening in modern day west seems to coincide with the plot pretty accurately.

Protagonist is complaining about how hard it is to find skilled workers.

@ElFlaco: 250?
200/80=2.5 (1 percent)
2.5x20=50
200+50=250
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2016 09:12 PM by Vinny.)
10-20-2016 09:09 PM
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