Patriot Jobs

In an age that is increasingly replacing in-person services with on-line services there are mixed responses. Some are welcome while others are not so much. One of the biggest problem is the adoption of digital services that do not work correctly. For the average user they can be frustrating. For the IT knowledgeable user they can be maddening. Just so you know, I am a Computer Information Systems student, with past computer experience.

Unfortunately, the use of flawed web software is more common than it should be. In areas like job searches and on-line applications, properly functioning systems can be crucial to our individual survival. I've written about Mother Frances' healthcaresource.com site and others in another blog. Now I can add UT Tyler's Career Services site to that list.

The University has been touting their Patriot Jobs site for interfacing with Career Services. I tried registering for it a few months ago with the system always returning an error message. I received no response from an email I sent. I finally went by their office to try again, again unsuccessfully. Eventually, the staff used their administration form to get me in the system. And, no, it didn't have anything to do with a firewall.

But that wasn't the only problem. Scanning the jobs in the local database was like playing roulette. I begin by getting the list of jobs and sorting it by job type. I find an opening that says, Graphic Designer then click to read about it. I think "that's cool." I hit my browser's back button to return to the list. Then I spot a job at a local coffee shop, but when I click for a description, the page describes a job as English Instructor at a college. I click on a link in the list for Operations Intern, and get a description for an instrument control intern at a different company.

On the next page, I click on IT Support job, and find that job interesting. I take another look at the list, and then return to the IT Support job description but it's been replaced with a description for a Marketing Representative. Final score, two hits out of five, not bad for roulette, but not good at all for job searching.

As a computer programmer, I understand the need to beta test a program, and the possibility of occasional flukes. I would understand if it was a program developed in-house to save money, but this is a service that the University pays a "professional company" money for. In either case, these "services" should not be used, and certainly not mandated if they do not work.

In this information age, I'm constantly amazed at how little information we actually get any more, either because sites are not updated or the back-end software doesn't perform acceptably. But with Patriot Jobs, this is an indictment not only against the system being used, but also the PR that is behind promoting it.

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