Friday, July 07, 2006

Blogswapping with....

This post is part of the Blog Swap.

Many thanks to Steve Rothberg, of fame, for being a guest contributor.

As a guest contributor to the Career Builders Blog, I would like to extend my thanks to Dennis Smith and the other good folks at T-Mobile for affording me this opportunity. By way of introduction, Dennis and I met on-line a few months ago through our blogging efforts and face-to-face at a recruiting conference in Las Vegas where we both sat on a panel and discussed why and how recruiters should blog. This Career Builders Blog is one of the best recruiting blogs and, as a result, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the path that Dennis and his colleagues are paving for others. I am the President and Founder of, a career site that focuses on helping college students and recent graduates find entry level jobs and internships .

One of my passions is learning about alternative ways of educating our population, whether that is through on-line schools or other methods. I recently learned about StudyCell, which makes educational software for cell phones. Some 10,000 people have now downloaded its mobile products, so it is in its infancy but approaching critical mass. StudyCell offers pre-made mobile flashcard decks for studying a variety of subjects (languages, math, history, etc.), in addition to its system for creating individualized flashcards on its web site for download to students’ cell phones. StudyCell takes advantage of the way young people use cell phones in their daily lives—in the halls, on the bus, during brief windows of time—to help them memorize words, facts, and concepts and test their new skills.

With the rapidly increasing cost of tuition threatening to drive the cost of traditional four-year degree beyond the hopes of the majority of our population yet the need for such education at an all-time high, I foresee the day when more and more schools will begin to truly offer their services on an a la carte basis in order for those schools to survive and compete. Students will be able to pick and choose from courses offered by one school and match them up with courses offered by other schools. Some of those courses may be offered in traditional classroom settings, some may be offered on-line via a web browser, and apparently some will be offered via our cell phones.

While I suspect that T-Mobile’s marketing folks must be happy about that last group, it is unclear to me as to whether the recruiters and hiring managers at leading employers such as T-Mobile will be happy if the educational system becomes increasingly fractured and students graduate with degrees based upon classes taken at a wide variety of schools using a wide variety of delivery methods. While the number of college students and graduates will surely increase and that bodes well for an employer of people whose professions range from wireless engineer to retail associate, the ability to compare the qualifications of those candidates will become increasingly difficult. My guess is that more employers will place less of an emphasis upon where a candidate went to school and more of an emphasis on what the candidate did while in school.

Did the candidate complete any co-op programs or internships? Did the candidate hold down any part-time or seasonal jobs while in college? Far too many college students underestimate the importance of solid work experience prior to graduation, yet virtually all employers place enormous weight upon such experience. Will services such as StudyCell bring the two groups closer together? I hope so.

-- Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of, blogs about issues related to college recruiting and hiring at Blog. is the highest traffic career site used by job hunting students and recent graduates and the employers who want to hire them.


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