Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yahoo HotJobs: Legal, Advertising, Writing??

Yahoo should do their homework before posting another article like this one on the front page of their website. Unsurprisingly, the article which includes law, online journalism, and advertising as future hot careers is written by Gina Pogol who works for Find the Right School, another scam-like website that takes your email address and spams you with junk mail from University of Phoenix, Devry University, American Intercontinental University, and Kaplan University. I looked up this "journalist" and discovered that her past job before she became an editor was loan officer at CTX Mortgage Company. This is what the former loan officer turned third tier toilet shill had to say:

Not hot: data entry, customer service, and collections
As companies look for ways to save on labor costs, more of them are off-shoring entry-level "knowledge worker" jobs such as customer service, collections, and data entry. Many of these jobs can be handled remotely from countries like India, where English is widely spoken and the educational system is good. The trend is for English-speaking countries with low labor costs to pull these formerly lucrative jobs out of North America.

The writer doesn't seem to realize that a lot of our legal jobs are being outsourced to India too.

Prepare for top careers
The top careers of the future are not entry-level positions. They require career training in the form of an on-campus or online degree to get started. Here are five careers that are most likely to offer interesting work, loads of opportunity, nice paychecks, and job security.

Anyone who tells you that an online degree could lead to a six-figure legal job or online journalism career is clearly a scam artist. Guess what, Ms. Pogol? Most of us here have professional or graduate degrees from top schools and even a few years of work experience and we're still considered to be "overqualified" entry-level candidates. I don't think legal temping for $12/hour or doing freelance writing for $20/hour part-time in Manhattan with no benefits qualifies as interesting work with loads of opportunity and job security.

Most working writers have bachelor's degrees in English, journalism, or communications, but other degrees are acceptable in many industries if applicants demonstrate good writing skills. Many work on marketing, instructional, and technical materials; online journalism is popular, too. (Only a few writers pen bestsellers and award-winning screenplays.) Many writers work as freelancers, so business courses can come in handy as well. In-demand professional writers and editors can earn six-figure incomes. There are many opportunities, but competition is keen because many people want to enjoy this career.

Yes, an editor or regular columnist at the New York Times or Newsweek makes a six-figure salary. But for every Paul Krugman or Fareed Zakaria, there are millions of unemployed journalists making pennies a day on their personal blog hoping to be the next Julie Powell. Newspapers and magazines are shutting down all over the country and the online journalism market is as saturated as the legal profession. Most freelancers and online writers live at the poverty level. The luckier ones who work for reputable online newswires make around $40k a year in New York City and DC.

Legal careers
Legal careers can allow you to work in any area that interests you, including environmental law, estate planning, personal injury, and politics. And there is a career for every education level--from legal-assistant certificate programs to bachelor's degrees in paralegal studies to Juris Doctor (JD) degrees for attorneys. Despite excellent growth in these professions, the BLS states that competition will be tough, and you'll need formal training to grab the best jobs. Earning potential for top-level pros ranges from about $60,000 for legal secretaries and assistants to about $75,000 for paralegals, to hefty six-figure salaries for lawyers.

Do I really need to go into this one? The legal profession is shrinking, not expanding. Most lawyers do not make a six-figure salary outside of BigLaw. Thousands have been forced to make a career out of temping for $20/hour and no benefits. The author also forgets to mention the six-figure debt to get a JD.

Advertising is a sexy profession and a "highly coveted" one, according to the BLS. So of course there's a lot of competition. Advertising, marketing, public-relations, and sales managers are responsible for their companies' market research; marketing strategies; public image; print, online, and TV ads; and more. This job allows a lot of creativity but also brings pressure, long hours, and frequently a lot of travel. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in business, an MBA, or a degree in communications, public relations, or journalism. If you can take the heat, you can pull in a cool salary--top dogs earn over $120,000 a year.

I don't know a ton about the advertising biz, but several of my friends who have worked in advertising say it is anything but glamorous. Starting salaries are around $30k and this is in cities like Los Angeles and New York. Just look at any big city's craigslist under marketing and pr and you'll see internships that require a college degree that are unpaid or offer $20 a day for lunch and travel expenses.


  1. I found this website as I was looking for Gina Pogol's website because she forgot to include model, actor and professional athlete. (Kobe Bryant is making $30 million a year; so can you)This whole article screems I am a scam.(while true the best of the best in any profession will make a good living, it is very unlikely that those people are reading this article or are stupid enough to think an overpriced online diploma mill is their ticket to riches.)
    I'm a JD (with honors) and a top tax-llm. I know more than a few of us that are over 30 and can't afford to live away from mom and dad.
    Where did Ms. Pogol get her information

  2. I'm so glad you jumped on this serial imbecile and self-proclaimed oracle.

  3. Thanks for the comment 12:58. That pretty much debunks the experience leads to more money arguments some people throw out. Again, that's why working for free is so worthless, if people that have actual paid jobs aren't advancing how is a volunteer going to advance? Preference is always going to go to those with paid jobs first, as that experience is considered more worthwhile.

    People always say to stay in school and try to get on pro athletes for leaving early, but that is the height of idiocy as far as I see. Why would you give up millions to "learn" useless garbage? Everyone might as well skip school entirely and train to be athletes or actors with the bullshit this article was peddling.

  4. this sort of article is emblematic of the education scam, the education bubble and its hype and the vacuousness of the mainstream media

  5. Right after the unpleasantness, I was dating this girl whose mother had a PhD. in English. The mother had spent many years as a college professor in Japan and at a respectable college in the United States.

    At the time of 9/11 she was working as a technical writer for Motorola making well over $100k/yr. Between the world on fire thing and the disaster that was the Moto commercial sat phone (you can talk from the Antarctic for only $3000/min.), the mother was laid off.

    She spent about a year and a half basically unemployed and then got a technical writing job in the Pharma industry making six figures.

    The point is that I always thought the "fall-back" for genuinely talented writing types was the corporate "technical writer" gig. Sure, you're not famous, you don't get to be creative, but you do get paid *very* well to put pen to paper, even if it is writing acid reflux disease medication instructions.

    Has the world changed again????

  6. Writing, legal, and advertising jobs are all constantly offshored. The mainstream media simply passes along info - as if it were gospel.

    The reality is that college is a waste of time. If 70 percent of high school graduates seek higher education, what makes a BA or BS so special? Nothing. This is why you often see college grads working in call centers, at gas stations and movie theatres making $9 an hour. This is also why so many seek law degrees, i.e. out of desperation. I know JDs who are working in call centers making $14 an hour. What a great investment, huh?

  7. Anyone try contacting this person or posting comments on the story if they allow it? I'd love to see someone do that & post the response. I've done that a few times to people writing career advice & have had people back up my views on things. Let's face it, the only way to counter misinformation is to confront it & its peddlers head on.

  8. I don't know where Yahoo gets these freelance writers to write their ridiculous job advice articles which they publish on the front page of their website for millions to read each day. The story does not allow comments but I'll be on the lookout for Pogol's next article. It's very curious how she went from loan officer to freelance writer for scam sites.

  9. Hello, I wrote the article and I do earn six figures editing and writing. My research is all from government sites and verified data, not anecdotal, which is what you guys are supplying. I also earned $80k as a paralegal with a finance degree and a paralegal studies certificate which took me six months to get. And I never say online schools get you six figure jobs; I say what education is required, online or on campus, what the growth possibilities and median salaries are per the US Dept of Labor. I think that's better than your sources which seem to be the personal experiences of disenchanted unsuccessful types. Clearly you have not "done everything right."

  10. Lawyers with business or mortgage expertise can earn excellent money writing for online publications. It's also a great way to promote yourself and drum up business. In the past, you had to go to a fancy private college, then slave for a decade before you could get a good editorial job in a publishing house. Today, publishing is cheap, demand for content is high, and good business writers are hard to find. My finance degree and research/writing experience as a paralegal helped me get my first editorial job and it's the most fun you can have with clothes on. The $ is great too. Sorry to be a little sharp with some of you but I don't like being called an imbecile for completing a writing assignment as requested. Yahoo content is more infotainment than serious stuff, but I'd be happy to offer up my sources to anyone who wants to supply an email address. They are reliable, government or edu or business sites.



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