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Could My College Education Be Hurting Me in a Blue Collar Job Market?

by Randy
(Lisle, Illinois, USA)

Hi. My names Randy. I'm 38 years old, and have been a custodian/janitor for the past 16 years. I've also been going to college part-time while working these jobs (custodial/janitor).

I was recently laid-off from a very well paying city job as a custodian after 10 years of service. I'm also very close to finishing an A.A. degree. I've been applying and applying for custodian jobs at school districts, and I'm just wondering if my education I have on my resume, (I put that I have 54 credit hours, and I'm currently working towards an A.A. degree on my resume) is the problem.

I only got one call from a school I applied for out of about 25 schools so far. I was offered the school job, but turned it down because of the salary they offered. Could my education on my resume be making companies shy away from me?

I mean, could they be wondering if I'll "just quit" once I get my degree?



ANSWER: Hi Randy... I do think your suspicion may be correct. It's entirely possible that prospective employers may look at your pending degree and think, "This guy's on his way up... He won't stick around long." Even though employers have very little loyalty to employees these days (hence your job loss after 10 years), they do still expect to recoup their training/orientation expenses, preferably over several years.

But I wouldn't encourage you to leave your education off your resume, because that's dishonest and lies/deliberate omissions have a way of coming back to bite you. Instead, I'd address it in the cover letter, stating your intent to stay with any new job for some minimum amount of time, etc. Whatever applies.

To your success,

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