Topic ID #37732 - posted 12/2/2016 7:53 AM

Field Techs with a master's degree?


Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and energy sector jobs dried up, I noticed a whole bunch of archaeologist types flocking back to school for their Golden Ticket, i.e., a master's degree. At that time I said to myself, "Self, in 2-3 years there is going to be a glut of MAs out there looking for a job. What impact will this have on our profession?"

I thought then, and I have seen it a couple of times since, that pretty soon a BA will be as useful as a HS diploma in this field. Right now over on the Jobs section there is a position as a monitor that REQUIRES a MA or Ph.D to monitor construction. Now I have monitored my fair share of big construction projects, and never was I asked whether I had a Ph.D or not. Hell, the guy on the bulldozer barely has a HS diploma, but I have to have a master's to stand there and watch him?

Thoughts? Is this the wave of the future in CRM--we have to become even more overeducated in order to get our $15/hr.?

Post ID#20816 - replied 12/4/2016 11:10 AM


For years, there has been a glut of "archaeologists", people with BAs and a field school, allowing employers to pick and choose. Now, there is a similar glut of people with graduate degrees. If you were an employer, would you hire someone with a BA or a graduate degree, if both were applying for the same job. There are WAY more applicants than there are jobs, and since the schools keep churning them out, this is unlikely to change.

Post ID#20817 - replied 12/4/2016 11:58 AM


I see your point, but is it worth it to get a MA so you can haul buckets of dirt to the screen? I really did monitor projects where I got to watch people drive around in big vehicles. Does that really require an RPA? My concern is that the days of the field tech are numbered. With a glut of MAs out there, will we need a Ph.D to become a crew chief? I just see us as needing more and more education to do the same jobs, for the same pay (which is already way low for college graduates.)

Post ID#20820 - replied 12/7/2016 6:15 PM


Yes, this profession has become over-qualified within the last 20-yrs (this was one of many discussions in my MA classes). When I started working in CRM17-yrs ago you were able to find work with an AS degree as an archy tech; now those jobs are held by ppl with a BA, and the old BA jobs you now need an MA to fill (I'm not even going to start about those MA grads lacking any applicable exp). What's even sadder (in my opinion) is our MA archy job doesn't pay the same as other environmental practitioners with the same education OR yrs of experience. Those biologists, geologists, geographers, etc. - with the same amount of student loan debt I have - get payed a lot more than me, and within the same company. In environmental consulting, they get billed-out at a higher rate. Its a rigged game, folks. Good luck  


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