The Defects of College Education
Nowadays, the necessity of getting a college degree is indisputable. After graduating from high school, most students choose to attend college to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher which could eventually help them find a better job. This goes to say that individuals with bachelor’s degree get better employment opportunities compared to those who just own a high school diploma. When we mention the meaning of “great jobs”, the first measurement that comes to mind is “salary”. People with higher degree gain more salary than others who are lower educated people. However, the current employment environment for college degree-holders is not very good at all. Some of them are facing the problem of unemployment. Dougherty (2010) tells in the article “College Grads Expand Lead in Job Security” that in America, the group of workers who are more than 25 years old with college degrees or higher has more than 4.6% unemployment rate in August 2007. Further, the unemployment rates for this group in other Asian countries are even higher (Dougherty, 2010). There are also some college degree-holders who face a crisis of laid-off due to the lack of skills and experiences (Dougherty, 2010). In order to help the students find better jobs and become able in meeting the needs of jobs, college education should include more job skills and not only basic related knowledge.
Many graduate students find out that the knowledge they have acquired in college is not enough and useful for the real life jobs’ use. For example, all majors in the school of management of University of San Francisco are related to business works. It offers the students such courses like micro and macroeconomics, accounting, and more deeply theory class for hauptstudium learning. People believe that those professional and profound courses could help a student become an expert in his major.
But the real situation is something that could not even help graduate student solve the basic workplace relationships problem. In the book titled “The Start-Up of You” by Hoffman and Casnocha (2012), the American journalist, Thomas Friedman claims that employers always question if the person they want to hire could add value all the time. All diplomas seem to be same. If someone wants to be hired, there must be some unique advantages when compared to others (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012). The job environment is not like college class. By contrast, the work environment has more complicated interpersonal relationships (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012). Not only the tedious social etiquette, but also many details of use of language are playing important roles. Students are not able to build that ability up through the daily contact with peer. After they enter the society, they will explore that the real work environment is more complex than those assumes in textbooks (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012). People need to be very flexible when face to all unexpected difficulties. The ability to make response immediately is very necessary and that which is also hard to train in college.
I am a hospitality management student. I would say that my major is an excellent learning role model of this problem. It has totally different training program from other majors which are offered by the school of management. The courses include many extracurricular events; offer the students chances to learn social etiquettes and opportunities to contact with industrial professionals. With the graduate requirement of 800 hours internship, the students of this major are better integrate into society.
In Asian China, college students are facing more trouble with the lack of job skills (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012). The Chinese colleges require higher difficulty basic classes to get diploma, but apparently there are too many no necessary basic classes that are totally useless for the job after college for the most of the time such as advanced math, political lesson (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012). Chinese education likes to focus on academic training. Students are limited in the cage of boring classes, which make them like nestlings once enter the society. These classes do not gain students the specific job skills. The whole course system is full of loopholes, which occurs lot amount of college students facing the problem of meet the requires of the job that they are looking for. Most of the people are getting the job that is completely different than what they have learned from college, even some people thinking of drop out of the college just because they could not learn anything useful and funny from these classes. Graduates under such kind of college education system are not full-prepared for enter into the real work environment. This lead to a growing number of unemployed college students. Their parents have to afford their living expenses after paying a big amount of tuition fee.
As a college student, I deeply realize the horrors of such defects in education. However, the reform of education is not that easy. Any change of detail could influence the whole huge college education system. It would be destructive if it had not fully planned. Maybe the fastest way to change the situation immediately is to change it from students themselves. By entering into the society in spare time, students can learn things which college cannot offer them such as trying some part-time jobs, getting acquainted with predecessors, and doing research on social media website. All those are good ways to improve themselves without the studies of college courses. Colleges need more specific classes to get students more job skills and experiences instead of teaching them things which would be forgotten at all after they graduate. In my personal opinion, two courses could be added in all college majors studies. One is “social etiquette and relationships”, which could offer all students necessary senses they need for job environment. The other course could be a situation simulation class, which could let students get used to varied workplace issues.
According to Adam Burk (2011), founder and director of Treehouse Institute, education is a prevalent cultural institution employed to bring about the customary societal values. In addition, the modern educational system hailed from a disgusting past mainly taking roots in industrialism (Burk, 2011). Burk also believes that education must be an encouraging procedure that enables and leads children to form their critical thinking, passions, compassion, and orientation to wisdom (2011). However, the students’ education must be something that will develop them into a holistic person. To develop completely, an individual must not only obtain be educated in mind but in actions as well. College is a preparation for employment. It is the period where most skills necessary for future employment are taught.
In report titled Are They Really Ready to Work by Casner-Lotto (2006), 400 employers participated in a survey and enumerated some of the skills that new entrants in the workforce must possess in order to make it to the employment world. Casner-Lotto (2006, p. 9) presented the following requirements: Professionalism and work ethic; oral and written communications; teamwork and collaboration and; critical thinking and problem solving. For four-year college-educated entrants, innovation and creativity are major drivers for the economic progress for businesses and for the economy-at-large (Casner-Lotto, 2006, p. 10). If students are devoid of creativity and innovation, then the likelihood of getting an employment is small. Writing: A Ticket to WorkOr a Ticket Out (2004) emphasizes the need to be well-versed in writing as this can be a way to employment. Even in this very basic skill, college students have to be taught the proper way of writing.
Writing has become increasingly essential to big businesses. Significantly, good writing abilities are valued by businesses based on a statement by the National Commission on Writing (2004). Evidences of the significance of writing have been illustrated by facts and data. According to the article, writing is a skill for promotion and employment especially for salaried workers (The National Commission on Writing, 2004). People who have the inability the write and effectively communicate will not get an employment and are unlikely to stay long enough to be taken into consideration for a special promotion. Application letters that are poorly written are not likely to be hired (The National Commission on Writing, 2004). The Commission is certain that much of what is significant in American public as well as economic life is reliant on clear oral written way of communication(The National Commission on Writing, 2004).Writing is a fundamental building block for leisure, employment, and life. In a survey conducted in this research, it was found that good writing is a given thing in the modern professional work.
If colleges and universities fail to take into account teaching the students the very basic technicality in writing, then college graduates will end up not knowing where to start in seeking employment. Therefore, colleges and universities must focus more on teaching students the practical skills that would help them prepare for the workforce rather than enclose them in a room and bombard them with concepts.
Burk, A. (2011). In your opinion, what should the purpose of education be? | A conversation on TED.com. Ted.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014, from http://www.ted.com/conversations/7491/in_your_opinion_what_should_t.html
Casner-Lotto, J. (2006). Are They Really Ready To Work?: Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce, 1-61.
Dougherty, C. (2010). College Grads Expand Lead in Job Security. Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704362404575479603209475996
Hoffman, R., & Casnocha, B. (2012). The start-up of you (1st ed.). New York: Crown Business.
The National Commission on Writing (2004). Writing: A Ticket to Work Or a Ticket Out - A Survey of Business Leaders. College Board, 1-21.