Friday, April 14, 2006

Disturbing trend in the job market

Most everyone that I know, especially in the technical fields, tend to scan over job posting boards such as and One of the boards that I like to look at is The nice thing about craigslist is that it is area-centric, that is it has pages that are specially for the areas around selected cities and countries.
Well, I constantly browse craigslist for jobs in the boston area ( since I live in New England, close to Boston) and have noticed lately that FAR too many companies are taking some pretty low, drastic measures in an attempt to get a project or projects completed and pay as little as they can or nothing at all. What I am talking about is postings for "Interns" or "Internships".
By definition, an intern is "an advanced student or graduate usually in a professional field (as medicine or teaching) gaining supervised practical experience (as in a hospital or classroom)". This term is basically intended for anyone who is coming out of college or some other kind of professional training and needs to gain some on-the-job experience so that they can carry their career further. Typically interships are unpaid or paid very little ( usually an hourly wage ) but that is the price you pay for gaining the experience on the job.
Now, the beef that I have is with all of the companies that are all of a sudden putting up these job postings with the words "intern" or "internship" in them. The postings are for jobs that are unpaid usually or are paid with experience and goods/services from the employer. This would not be so bad if some of these people putting up these jobs weren't looking for someone with "so many years of experience" and a LONG list of needed skills. Anyone who has spent the time to gain the skills that these people are looking for does not need an internship that isn't going to pay them what they are worth, they need $$$$$. No offense, in this day and age, the wallet might be a little tight still but that is no reason to expect that people are going to screw themselves over and work for free.
I saw a rant by someone on there a couple of weeks ago and the person was noticeably upset and for good reason. I have this feeling that this is the next evolution in the job market kind of like after the last bubble burst and you couldn't find a job that would pay anything because everyone wanted you to know 35 programming languages and were only going to pay you $1000 per language per year. To me, that was rediculous and uncalled for but who am I?
I just hope that others out there are seeing the same trend that I do and will write about it and bring it further out into the open in hopes that all of these companies that think "let's hire someone and call them an intern, that way we don't have to pay them", that they cannot get good help for nothing. We all have families to support just like they do.
Just my .02.

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