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In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap – True or False?

In an article for the New York Times recently, writer Michael Luo, chronicled the job search of two college educated, African American professionals with strong work histories at prestigious firms.

The two job seekers featured were:
– Johnny R. Williams, 30 years old, a M.B.A. graduate from University of Chicago and former employee of JPMorgan Chase.
– Barry Jabbar Sykes, 37 years old with a degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College.
The article is an interesting read about how these two educated African American males are modifying their personal strategies in an effort to improve employment chances in a tough economy.

For example, Barry Jabbar Sykes, who has always used his middle name, has modified his name on his resume to Barry K. Sykes.

Why? Because, states Sykes, “Barry sounds like I could be from Ireland.”

I think this article is recommended reading, not just because it demonstrates the reality that flexibility must be a part of a successful career strategy, but also because the comments left by readers give insight into the positive and negative attitudes that exist in the 2009 workplace.

You can read the entire article and readers’ comments in the New York Times here.

What say you?

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