Monday, 3 August 2009

No Job? Sue Your College or University?

A New York woman, Trina Thomson, 27, has filed a law suit against Monroe College were she completed an IT degree in April this year. She is seeking to recover $70,000 (approx £40,000) that she has spent on tuition the BBC reported. The woman claims the Office of Career Advancement at the college did not provide her with the leads and career advice it had promised.

"The college prides itself on the excellent career-development support that we provide to each of our students, and this case does not deserve further consideration," its spokesman said.

It sounds a little far fetched in my opinion and I would think that she will be unsuccessful but you never know – stranger things have happened. It is hard to prove because there are so many other contributory factors that the college could argue are the cause of her unfortunate jobless situation; her efforts and the current economic climate being the main ones.

It’s definitely not an isolated situation and one that a lot of students Stateside and over here in the UK will have found themselves in. After studying hard and gaining good qualifications they end up either jobless or taking on a job totally unrelated to their chosen field just so they can earn money.

I don’t think it is generally the college or universities responsibility in these situations but I do think that career advisors are pivotal and a major part of the organisation. I think if the “Office of Career Development” at the college in question has been less than helpful then they should be penalised and hopefully it will prevent other departments such as this in the future failing their students – if that is the case.

It’s a bit like many after sales departments, you find companies in all industries are friendly and helpful on initial contact but when you commit to buy, the after sales experience can be very lacking. It sounds like this is what Ms Thomson is trying to argue that she paid the tuition and studied hard but there was no help in the end after she spent all that time and money and promises have been broken by the college.

I remember a career advisor I seen at 5th year in school, he was very unhelpful and patronising when I told him what course I wanted to go on to do at university, he advised me to reconsider – he called it being realistic about my results, I called it giving up on my aspirations. In the end I never listened to him and completed the degree I had wanted to so it just shows how determination often wins over complaining or blaming other people.

The university I attended had a careers service too but I couldn’t fault any of the advice I have had from them – I was always helped, supported and advised and I know their job isn’t to get me a job but to help me find routes or ideas to go down. I think Ms. Thomson should maybe reconsider because I don’ know if she will be looked on favourably by prospective employers, whether rightly or wrongly – no one likes a trouble maker, least of all employers.

What do you think?

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