Finding an easy-to-get job that requires a BA
February 23, 2008 2:44 PM   Subscribe

What's a job that's easy to get that requires a bachelor's degree?

In order to stay in the country (U.S.) a friend of mine, on the verge of graduating, needs to find a job. However, due to immigration laws he can't stay in the States unless he has a job that requires a bachelor's degree. He's having difficulty finding employment at the moment and I thought I'd help him out.

A little employment-related info: His major is Econ with a physics minor, but he doesn't need work specifically in the area of business/econ to stay in the country. He's quite intelligent, very literate, highly competent with computers (basic C++ and java programming ability) and speaks English more fluently than most of the people I went to high school with. Personally, I'm baffled by his difficulty in finding work.

So, to my question: what's a job that requires a bachelor's degree that is relatively easy to get?
posted by Ndwright to Work & Money (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What about teaching? Any grade really, though obviously undergrad. Or, depending on the area he is in, perhaps tutoring with one of the 'franchise' places. I'm temporarily, while I'm in the states, working at such a place. We have a Kenyan lady who teaches math, and that allows her to stay. Though she was deported for a month due to some paperwork snafu.
Damn I hate immigration laws in America.
But yeah, something in education.
posted by dawson at 2:59 PM on February 23, 2008

Maybe admin assisting? The crappiest of all jobs that require a BA. At least some of them do.
posted by sully75 at 3:00 PM on February 23, 2008

Many higher education jobs, even administrative, non-teaching ones, require a bachelor's degree or higher.
posted by desjardins at 3:01 PM on February 23, 2008

Seconding a job in education, at say a university or technical college?

Here is Australia, it's notoriously difficult to get a full-time job in these places, but quite easy to get some sessional work, as long as you've got a degree in what they want you to teach (in your friend's case, probably economics), which seems to satisfy the "must have a degree" requirement...
posted by ranglin at 4:02 PM on February 23, 2008

Seconding teaching. He could probably teach math off the bat with his Econ degree, and schools are always in need of math/science teachers. Now's about the time that districts host career fairs; see if there's one in your area.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 4:11 PM on February 23, 2008

as far as ease of getting the job goes, i would suggest substitute teaching as well (easier to get than a regular teaching spot). im guessing a high school would be the easiest, though i have been told a bachelor's is all that's needed to teach at most community colleges as well.
posted by white light at 4:34 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Since you comment on his English skills, I assume it's not his first language. If his mother tongue is a particularly interesting one, it's possible that local government might have a need for him. Translation assistance for immigrants interfacing with social services, hospitals, etc. is what I'm thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if that kind of job required a bachelors degree, in that government can be fairly rigidly boilerplate about pre-requisites.
posted by mumkin at 4:49 PM on February 23, 2008

Um, I worked as an administrative assistant for years, in several different parts of the US. I had my BA and so did almost all of the other administrative assistant types that I worked with. I even knew a couple of admin. assistants who had their MA's. And yes, a BA was required for the job. The younger generation of office workers tends to be pretty over-educated.

All of the people with BA degrees in religion, sociology, English, art, theater, history, women's studies, music and French need to work somewhere.
posted by pluckysparrow at 5:12 PM on February 23, 2008

To clarify: does the BA need to be relevant to the job he gets? Or just required for it?

Because yeah — if it's the latter, there will be lots of office jobs with pointless degree requirements on the books just to give HR an easy way to make the first cut.

(When I was job-hunting a few years ago, out of college, I found that universities and hospitals were the most likely to post explicit degree requirements along with their jobs. In fact, some of them had online job postings that let you search by degree required. You might want to troll through your local ones and see what they say.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:33 PM on February 23, 2008

The university where I work requires a BA or BS for administrative assistant and other entirely entry-level positions, and they love to hire alumni. Has he looked at the administrative openings of his current school? If nothing is posted on the university's website, he should check with HR. A lot of our positions are posted internally, and aren't advertised, but alumni can still apply--and positions are always opening up, especially at the crappy need-a-bachelors-but-you-could-make-more-money-waitressing level. That is probably the easiest route of instant employment for fresh graduates, but the hiring process will take time. Lots of time.

Also, in many states a specific teaching degree or license is required to get a job teaching, so that might not be the best option for him. Substitute teaching usually doesn't, but depending on the state this might not be considered full-time employment (often it's on-call--I'd liken it to temping, but again, it will vary state to state).
posted by Polychrome at 6:50 PM on February 23, 2008

Also, in many states a specific teaching degree or license is required to get a job teaching, so that might not be the best option for him.

Private schools tend to be a lot more lax about these requirements. I'm not sure how it varies from state to state, but I know the ones I've lived in leave it up to private schools to decide.
Also, there are public school systems that'll hire non-teachers and put them through a crash course with the understanding they'll get a teaching degree x years down the road.
posted by jmd82 at 7:11 PM on February 23, 2008

Try a consulting company like Accenture.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:18 PM on February 23, 2008

He might want to look specifically at research assistant/associate/analyst jobs at consulting firms. I know that my company always loves to hire econ grads fresh out of school (it's a health economics consulting firm).
posted by acridrabbit at 8:34 PM on February 23, 2008

A lot of temp agencies will help people find full-time jobs [and some that don't suck too hard, even].
Sure, they'll take a huge chunk of the pie, etcetera, but if the aim is to definitely get a job of some sort right away, try 2 or 3 of the biggest temp agencies around and see who finds the best offer.
posted by Acari at 10:55 PM on February 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestions, guys. I'll link him to this thread later today.
posted by Ndwright at 5:34 AM on February 24, 2008

Ask at the on-campus job centre. I know our on-campus job centre hosts job fairs once a year, and all the banks that come say that you have to have a degree, and they don't care which one.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:43 AM on February 24, 2008

nthing the idea of substitute teaching. i have never run into a school system that wasn't desperate for subs. some school districts make you go through some hoops to get onto the list, and you do have to get a license; however, starting the process for a license is often enough to get you working.

even easier is going directly to private or charter school directors and asking to substitute there. i have gotten jobs at private/charters by doing this--having a reliable person they know is more convenient for them, and better for the sub as well (since you're not a newbie every day). if you're near an Indian reservation or impoverished neighborhood, they are often crying for energetic subs to fill the gaps.
posted by RedEmma at 9:05 AM on February 24, 2008

I always think of library assistant positions as holding patterns for people with BAs that aren't very marketable, there are usually a bunch of library assistant jobs at universities and public libraries, and they're usually easy jobs to get (and not quite as sucky as admin assistant jobs, in my opinion).
posted by hought20 at 5:45 AM on February 25, 2008

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