"Employers Are out of Their Minds" — Job Seeker Says Job Requires a Master's Degree but Only Pays $24 an Hour

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Nov. 29 2023, Published 11:05 p.m. ET

When I was 19 years old, I moved to Los Angeles by myself. I used to say I ran away because I didn't tell anyone I was doing this, but can one really run away when they are legally an adult? This was in January 2000, during a time affectionately referred to as the dot-com boom. There were internet startups happening basically all day, every day. It was a thrilling time to look for work.

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I was hired at a company that was similar to IMDB today. Essentially, I spent eight hours a day watching movie credits and entering people's names and jobs into a database. I made $10 an hour and vividly remember thinking it was a lot of money. With that amount, I was able to get my own apartment in Los Angeles. Don't even think about doing that now. This is why I feel for the youth of today, and this gentleman in particular, who is being offered no money for a job that requires a Master's degree.

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This company should definitely be paying more.

Cal, who goes by @calbinogenome on TikTok, is angry and rightfully so. Like many of the youth today, he is struggling in ways his parents and grandparents can't fathom and at times refuse to understand.

Looking for a job can be demeaning and demoralizing, and it's only made worse by some truly insulting offers and requirements by employers. I spent 15 months searching for work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and was often contacted by people who were clearly involved in multi-level marketing schemes. It sucks.

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In one depressing TikTok, Cal asks if people want to know how the job market is going for people in their 20s. Spoiler alert it's not great, but at least he doesn't have to deal with ageism in the other direction in the form of people not wanting to hire older workers who know their worth. Again, it's bad all around.

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Making sure not to reveal too much information, for fear of doxxing himself, Cal shares that he was contacted by a recruiter asking him to apply for a job that had some pretty wild requirements. They start off pretty predictable, with a Bachelor's degree being one of them. However, things quickly take a turn.

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They would prefer that the Bachelor's degree be in biochemistry. It's safe to assume Cal might have this particular degree otherwise, why would the head hunter reach out to him? The education requirements didn't stop there.

In a perfect world, Cal has a Master's degree in biochemistry. By the way, the potential employer is looking to hire someone with "five years experience in a field that has existed for about 12 years at the moment," says Cal.

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The list grows more harrowing as this company also wants experience programming in Python (a programming language) in a professional environment, experience with sequel servers (a database management system), and "more importantly the ability to travel both domestically and internationally up to two weeks out of the year."

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Wow, this sounds like a great job. The pay must be amazing. Please hold that thought. For all of this expertise, the mystery company is only willing to pony up $24 an hour, which comes out to $48,000 a year.

People in the comments had a field day with this. Many pointed out that a job with this description should pay anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 per year. Some people added that they make more at their jobs, which don't require any sort of degree. This is what young folks are dealing with nowadays. What's the solution? Well, Cal said in the comments he might start charing $1 per blade of grass if he mows lawns.

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