What do you do with a B.A. in communications?

I’m on a mailing list for job postings related to editing, you know, for when that six-figure executive position comes up with the corporate jet. I just haven’t bothered unsubscribing.

Even though I’m not looking for a job, I read the emails out of curiosity.

One I’ve seen a few times is from a trade magazine publisher. Trade magazines are usually high-budget affairs because they’re sent to highly-paid professionals and a lot of money is spent on advertising and otherwise communicating things between people in this industry.

The position is a “junior editor”, who is responsible for editing and proofreading, assigning material to freelancers, deciding on editorial coverage, “managing multiple projects simultaneously” and working on the design.

Doesn’t sound particularly “junior” to me, but maybe some of those things are exaggerated.

The position requires a B.A. in communications (or equivalent) and professional editing skills. Knowledge of Quark Xpress and bilingualism are listed as “assets”

It’s entry-level, but professional.

The starting salary? $13/hour

And yet for some reason I keep seeing this position posted every month or two. It’s almost as if the salary is so insultingly low that the people who apply are all horrendously unqualified.

Sadder still, I’m sure you can come up with even worse examples.

12 thoughts on “What do you do with a B.A. in communications?

  1. Christian

    I find browsing job postings such a depressing activity. They’re all about working under pressure, administrative side-tasks, entry-level salaries and “occasional” overtime…

  2. Guillaume Theoret

    Christian it’s like that in every industry. Even in my field (programming) which is in constant lack of qualified personnel available to do the work you get postings like those.

    There are companies bucking the trend though. Take standoutjobs ( http://standoutjobs.com/site/ ) for example. It’s a Montreal startup that helps companies build a “micro-site” to recruit and promote themselves among job seekers. The idea is to seem attractive and more companies I think are going to start realizing that the standard depressing job posting just isn’t going to cut it anymore soon.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I took a look at some jobs at Standout Jobs. Not a single one listed salary, so I can’t really compare. It’s amazing how many job listings make no reference to how much money someone will make. I understand sometimes salary is negotiated, but to not even have a ballpark figure is to invite people who are either grossly overqualified or grossly underqualified.

  3. DAVE ID

    Damn dude 13$/Hour??? That freaking highway robbery. You can’t even make rent with this. LOL our student call-center hell-desk calltakers get paid more than that and that’s just to open tickets and reset passwords, they’re not even debuggers.

  4. Jean Naimard

    Well, they cannot afford more than $13/hour, because the boss absolutely has to come to work in a $90,000 car because a $50,000 car just won’t do.

  5. Jean Naimard

    Standout is blatanly illegal, not only because the site is english-only, but because it is illegal to charge people in order to find them jobs.

  6. Guillaume Theoret

    Fagstein already responded to the major issue.

    What I was wondering was is it illegal to have an english-only website? I didn’t think so. I thought you just might not be eligible for certain government tax breaks that had such conditions. I would like to see a link for more information about that though.

  7. David

    I work in the translation field, and some freelance translation offers from places like China or India offer a mere 0, 0090someting per word. Image, tt’s not even a cent per word in us dollars, I see this all the time on freelance websites.

    Even starting at 13 $ an hour feels a little like outsourcing.

  8. Kate M.

    I’ve been looking for work on and off for a year, and recall one Craigslist posting that required you to do page layout and graphic design, web design including Flash and scripting, sound and video editing, and they were offering a princely $10 an hour.

    But it’s true, sometimes they just don’t want to pay. Maybe it’s just as well if they’re up front about that. I saw a posting recently asking for a drupal hacker who “wasn’t hung up on the paycheck.” As if drupal was something you’d do for shits and giggles…

  9. Serena

    It may be illegal to charge people to find jobs, but many companies do. Look at southernmainehelpwanted.com – many of their postings are through “hiring companies” that charge a flat rate and guarantee to find you a job within 6 months. Illegal or not… they still do it.


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