Last night I went out to the White Spot restaurant in Surrey, BC to gather with some friends and fellow graduates from last year. It has now been One year later since I graduated, and got together with my friends from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. We talked shop, careers and future.
There has been an on going theme with respects to graduates whose major’s do not reflect their current careers. I am one of those, as my degree was set upon majoring in Criminology, and I find myself working more as a manger for a service and telecommunication based firm, managing logistics and inventory while dealing with buying and working with sales staff and project managers. A far cry from what my academic qualifications are. Though not all dome and gloom, some of my academic skills do offer me a clear advantage in the field that I work in.
So, what are some of the other Criminologist saying from last night’s gathering?
I am not the only one with one foot in a total different career path and the other planted in academia studying and keeping current in the field of Criminology. It was refreshing to learn that all shared my point of view on the current state of Canada’s political and economic power shift effecting how academics are being integrated into the labour force. Out of the Nineteen of us, only Three are working as Police Officers, and Two are working directly in Corrections (both work Provincially). This paints a picture that the Current Federal Government is not committed to its political election promises of creating a safer Canada as the Conservatives promised. One point of the promise from the Conservative Government was to implement the “Safe Streets Act,” which says that laws would be firmed up to catch more street level criminals, and keep violent criminals locked up longer. Part of this initiative was to add more members to the workforce who would be employed to make way for net-widening of the laws just created. Facilities such as Corrections and Policing would see some funding added to make way for these changes in the Criminal Code. Instead, my colleagues have stated that the conditions and environment in the Police Force and Corrections as deteriorated. Underfunding and lack of resources are the results so far from both the Federal and Provincial Governments. The Federal Government has committed very little new funding to Corrections, and is even cutting some of the services in prisons and community projects while prison populations increase. For those who work in the Provincial Correction System, a lot of the changes to the Criminal Code have meant a downloading of services on to the Provinces, as most offenders are those who are entering Provincial jails only. The result is that Provincial tax payers are funding the Federal election promises.
Most of my colleagues seem to be working for small businesses, or they are themselves self employed. One of my friends who I graduated with last year has continued to remain in University taking on another major, Mathematics and Science. He has move over to the University of British Columbia where he has committed himself into another two year program of study.
It was awesome to meet and talk with old friends again. I enjoyed the gathering, and I hope that we can do this again. Although this was not a formal gathering of alumni, keeping in touch with my friends from University is the ultimate form of networking there is, next to an alumni gala.
I want to blog about this more as so much took place from last night to cram into one post. Stay tuned.