About the trials and tribulations of being a Liberal Arts graduate in the job market. Sound advice, amusing stories and information that relate to young adults feeling their way around the job market for the first time. Finding out the unwritten rules and pitfalls that come with job-hunting, the first job, establishing a career, and growing out of being a student.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Finally Graduated

Hello there!

To any readers remaining of the retired Liberal Arts Grad Blog I have some good news to share. I finally graduated from grad school last week and can now devote time once again for blogging. With graduation comes an evolution in what I want to write about. Since I feel I have exhausted what I want to say on career issues for Liberal Arts grads I decided to create a brand new blog that deals with my other passion -- politics and democratic partticipation for regular folks. Check out my new blog at:


So with this post I officially retire the Liberal Arts Grad blog. Many thanks to all who read and commented on the blog at some point in its run. I hope some of you will become readers of my new blog as well. I will still keep the archives of this blog online for any interested folks.

Best regards,
The Liberal Arts Dude

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fare Thee Well

by the Liberal Arts Dude

This is my farewell post for the Liberal Arts Grad blog. It has been quite a wild ride in the blogosphere starting with the Liberal Arts Grad web site in 2002 which was resurrected as the Liberal Arts Grad blog in 2004.

Through these years of blogging I've been fortunate enough to have been featured in the Washington Post (here and here), receive fan email and made friends with other bloggers who write about student loans, debt and the trials and tribulations of life after college. Most of all, I have been pleasantly surprised and touched by people who wrote me who said they that they are thankful someone chose to create this blog.

I originally envisioned this blog as my way of following in the footsteps of the zine publisher Keffo (Jeff Kelly of the legendary zine "Temp Slave" -- for those of you who don't know about it, you can still purchase copies of the book the Best of Temp Slave in Amazon.com. I thought that the legions of unemployed, underemployed, debt-ridden, and angry Liberal Arts grads would be a viable niche to start a publication. And this new technology called "blogging" provided a cheap, no-frills and convenient way to publish my writings on the trials and tribulations of being a Liberal Arts grad in the job market.

But alas, as it turns out, various factors have given me the signal that the time is ripe for me to retire this blog.

- My "real life" is increasingly becoming more and more hectic and demanding as I juggle family life, grad school, and a fulltime career. I am scheduled to graduate in May 2007 but the road from now till then is going to demand that I devote my energies to these priorities over other activities.

- I feel like I've said my peace on the various issues that I felt strongly about on being a Liberal Arts grad. I have expressed all there is I ever wanted to say about my experiences as a Liberal Arts graduate and I can't think of anything more I would want to say without repeating myself.

So with that I retire this blog with a quote. Lyrics from the Ozzy Osbourne classic ballad, "Goodbye to Romance"

"And I feel the time is right
Although I know that you just might say to me
What'cha gonna do
What'cha gonna do
But I have to take this chance goodbye
To friends and to romance
And to all of you
And to all of you
Come on now

I say goodbye to romance, yeah
Goodbye to friends, I tell you
Goodbye to all the past
I guess that we'll meet
We'll meet in the end"

Keep on Rocking!

I'll keep the blog online for several more months before taking it offline.


The Liberal Arts Dude

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

News Roundup

IU to cover tuition for Pell recipients
from the Indiana Daily Student News

Officials announced Friday that the University will cover the remaining
tuition balance for incoming students who already receive aid from
federal Pell Grants. IU President Adam Herbert and IU Interim Provost
Michael McRobbie unveiled the plan at the board of trustees' regularly
scheduled business meeting at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis. To read the rest of the article click here.

Plan would allow Texas students to lock in tuition rates
from the Associated Press

In high school, Megan Rios watched her mom's tuition bills climb at the
University of Texas at El Paso, taking ever bigger bites from the money
the family had saved for the teen's college education. Now that she's a
UTEP freshman, Rios hopes to save money and avoid surprise tuition
increases by participating in the university's new guaranteed tuition rate
plan. It lets this fall's freshmen lock in the same tuition rate for
four years as long as they take five courses every semester. To read the rest of the article click here.

Freshmen Put High Value on How Well College Prepares Them for a Profession, Survey Finds
from the Chronicle of Higher Education (requires registration)

Students entering their first year of college consider career preparation the most crucial factor in determining the value of their postsecondary education, according to a new report from Eduventures, an education consulting firm. Of 6,200 traditional-age college freshmen surveyed, 72 percent said "professional preparation" was very important to them, while 62 percent ranked the "strength of the academic program" in the same category. Almost half, or 47 percent, said affordability was very important, according to the report. To read the rest of the article click here.

Free tuition for vow to stay?
from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Would you agree to live and work in Wisconsin for 10 years after college if the state offered to pay your tuition costs for all four years? That is the question being contemplated by a state commission that was assigned to upgrade Wisconsin's two-year college campuses - but has hatched an idea to overhaul the entire University of Wisconsin System. The commission is considering recommending free tuition for all students who agree to remain in the Dairy State after getting their degrees,
reversing an exodus of college graduates and potentially transforming the state's economy. The commission will gather in Madison on Tuesday to discuss including the idea in a package of recommended reforms geared primarily toward improving the two-year campuses. To read the rest of the article click here.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some News

New Parents Invest in State's Prepaid Tuition
from the Tallahassee Democrat

Once a year, the window opens to sign up for the Florida Prepaid College Plan, which covers almost 800,000 children, including almost 70,000 in college. The annual enrollment period for the plan is happening now but will close Jan. 31. To read the rest of the article click here.

Six Years in Manitoba Buys a Free Education
from The Globe and Mail (Canada)

University tuition in Manitoba will be virtually free for students willing to stay in the province under a policy initiative designed to stem the loss of young graduates. A sketch of the plan was announced last month by the provincial government. It proposed tax rebates equivalent to 60 per cent of total tuition fees for graduates who spend six years in Manitoba after finishing university. To read the rest of the article click here.

Beyond the Ivory Tower
from US News and World Report

Tens of thousands of students begin the cloistered life of graduate school each year, with visions of one day becoming tenured professors and perhaps researching the next hot new theory in a campus lab. But, for most, that dream never becomes a reality. Roughly 40 to 50 percent of students matriculating in doctoral programs eventually drop out, including a disproportionate number of women and minorities. To read the rest of the article click here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lying Low for a While

By the Liberal Arts Dude

OK it’s that time of the year again where I feel like I’ve said everything there is I ever wanted to say about being a Liberal Arts graduate—and then some. Much like the end of 2002 when I took the Liberal Arts Grad Web site offline, I am feeling plumb out of ideas as to what to write about. I’ve tackled job-hunting advice, book reviews, interviews, and even did some editorializing on current events and issues.

My schedule as a full-time worker and a part-time grad student is making it difficult for me to focus my mind and efforts on quality blog writing. I do most of my blogging in my free time and these days, my free time outside of work is taken up with homework, readings, and of course, juggling family life. I have practicum class, comprehensive exams in a couple of months, and a theses due right after that.

Much of the blogging I can spare the past few months have been primarily scouring the Internet and media for interesting articles, commenting briefly on them, and linking to them. Not exactly quality writing.

In any case, this is to announce that I am on hiatus writing anything with heavy substance at least until after my comp exams and theses. Once in a while when the mood hits I will post something substantive—but it won’t be on a regular basis such as before.

So right now consider the Liberal Arts Dude on hiatus except for brief flashes of insight. I will continue to post interesting news articles on a semi-regular basis.

The Liberal Arts Dude

A Duh Moment

I guess I just had a "Duh" moment -- to those who have posted comments and did not see their comments appear the past several months I apologize. Blogspot actually has a moderated comments function where all comments are stored until further action by me. This is to control comment spam. Silly me I thought all this time people weren't commenting on my blog -- they have been. I just haven't been checking. Argh! So I just approved a whole bunch of comments dating back to May 2006.

Anyway, I will be more vigilant now about comments.

The Liberal Arts Dude

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Couple of Great Articles

A couple of great articles on managing careers for young professionals. For the first one, Washington Post columnist Mary Ellen Slayter debunks a few myths about job-hunting and jobs. Some of what she cites are pretty standard common-sense knowledge for experienced workers. Some, however, young workers are well-advised to take note. Particularly on the points about entry-level salaries, the supposed benefits of an MBA, and what types of actions are illegal for employers. The second article deals more with academia and life as a grad student. In particular, how unfamiliarity with or a disregard for the unspoken etiquette of academic life and departmental politics can derail a promising young scholar's academic career even before it starts.

The Truth About Job-Hunting Myths
from the Washington Post
People believe some weird things. Like telepathy, astrology and ear candling. That it takes seven years for your body to digest chewing gum. Or that the devil can steal your soul when you sneeze. They also believe some strange things about job hunting. Here are some of the most common -- and most damaging -- job-seeking myths that young workers fall for (to read the rest of the article click here).

How to Sabotage Your Career
from Inside Higher Ed
The autumn semester is winding down and the October conference season has been swept away by the blustery November winds. But there’s one crop that’s not yet been put to rest: young scholars hell-bent on sabotaging their careers before they even have one. I recently witnessed four fall follies that reminded me that graduate advisors and faculty mentors ought to spend time discussing etiquette with their charges. To read the rest of the article click here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sound Financial Advice

Another excellent article by Washington Post financial columnist Michelle Singletary. This time she reviews a couple of books on how to finance a college education as part of her series on financing college. She will be doing online chats on these books as part of her "Color of Money Book Club" so if you are interested in participating read the article below.

A Crash Course In How to Pay For College
from the Washington Post
During a workshop in which I was teaching preteens and teenagers how to create a budget, I asked one 16-year-old if she was planning to go to college."Absolutely," her mother volunteered. And how, I asked the mother, will you pay for her college education? "Oh, we plan on her getting scholarships," the mother responded. What if she doesn't get any scholarships or grants? I inquired. I got a blank stare--like the look in the eyes of a deer that once ran into the driver's side of my van. To read the rest of the article click here.

I don't know much about the blog that this piece came from but this particular entry is pretty neat. A lot of sound, common sense financial advice that college students should read to get a handle on their financial lives.

55 Tips to Help You Zap Your Student Debt
sent to me by a blogger
Nearly two-thirds of college students borrow to pay for school, with an average loan debt of nearly $20,000. Ten percent of parents borrow an average of $16,218 to finance the education of their children. These figures account only for undergraduate education. Graduate degrees can pack on an additional $27,000 to $114,000 in student debt. So, you could be easily paying off the money way into your 50s if not 60s. And no, wearing yourself out working two or three jobs just to repay your loans is not the solution. A few simple tips, and some plain common sense, can save you a lot of money and heartburn later. To read the tips click here.