Jay Solo writes about the plight of former high tech workers now relegated to employment as cooks, baggage screeners, and other less glamorous–not to mention, lower paying, positions. I guess academics aren’t the only overtrained people having trouble finding work.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    I’m not sure I agree with you. That is where many of them belong.

    (some background)
    I had my first paying geek job over 20 years ago while I was still in high school. While I have done plenty of other things along the way, the money has always been so good “geeking” that I have never strayed from it.

    When the internet boom started I billed my customers at the rate of $100/hr. I would go into companies and do “geek magic.” Many of the kids there that were making 20K a year would see how much I bill and try to jump in the biz.

    Will all due respect they did not have the 15 years in it that I did. So they would bill 40/hr. But they “faked it” at best. Now that there is less demand, these kids are going back the regular economy and leaving the geeking to the professionals.

    Jay says many of his pals are the qualified geeks. Could be.. To me, somebody whose claim to fame is Microsoft Exchange is a “Johnny come latley.” But the value of geeking HAS been undercut by people that think working with computers is somehow romantic and are willing to do it on the cheap. (There is nothing “magic” about computers, it is boring, dull work)

    So to got the the point of this long post… I don’t think it is a case of “overtrained people having trouble finding work.”

    I think it is a case of undertrained people not riding a gravy train anymore.

    But that is how I see it from my chair.


  2. Paul says:

    While my post above is longer than James’ original, I think my point is being proven to be true. The first 2 comments on his board are EXACTLY what I am talking about.