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Multiple Degrees Of Stupidity

, , , , | Working | August 2, 2022

A few years back, I worked for a smallish firm owned by a huge parent company whose other businesses were almost all engineering-based. Ours (perhaps 1% of the whole company) was architecture.

My job required an architecture degree, and in smaller companies, it would usually be done by architects, but as it was not design-based, it came under the “business support” umbrella our parent company gave to anything non-engineering.

After requesting a (long overdue) payrise from Human Resources, they said they would look into it. I was the only person in my office doing my role, so they had to compare me to the other 99% of the workforce in the engineering firms.

HR said I was not eligible as I didn’t have any qualifications, and rather than agreeing to pay me the industry average — a 20% to 30% payrise — I could, in fact, lose my job. Apparently, they found that everyone doing a similar role to me had an engineering degree or an unspecific “business support”-based degree. My degree was deemed not relevant to my job — but the “good news” was that they would be “flexible” around me going back to university to obtain a “random business-support-based degree” whilst I continued to work for them full time at a lower than average rate and fund this degree out of my own pocket.

Me: “So, just to clarify… an employee in an engineering parent company working with engineers on engineering projects doing my role can have an engineering degree?”

HR Representative: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “But I, working for an architecture company with architects on architecture projects can’t have an architecture degree?”

HR Representative: “No, you need a relevant degree.”

I quit.

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