It ain't your grandfather's education
College not for everybody
Forget the dorms College is different
Every term when I meet my students for the first time I ask them why they are here. There are many I want to advise to leave. They want a good job (picture executive); they want to transfer to a four year college. Their parents want them to get ahead. I tell them that college is different now. When I went to college you could major in liberal arts; you would be hired upon graduation not based on what you knew but because you had passed college classes for four years and so you had tenacity. The classes didn't have to have anything to do with the job. You were simply considered an educated person who could represent their company. Today if you don't know what you want to do when you graduate you had better figure it out fast. The jobs go to the most trained,the most educated in the field they wish to enter. I tell them they are in competetion with millions so they have to know more and have better skils
I tell them that yes you should follow your bliss and find a field you love but it has to be married to the marketplace. Train for what is needed. In four years teaching at one college I saw the graphic arts department shrink to almost nothing, when I started teaching there was no multi media department, when I finished there were ten professors and it was the fastest growintg department.There were many frustrated and angry graphic artists, but.I applauded anyone taking any courses in the health fields, traditional or holistic. I would roll my eyes if someone wanted to be an interiror decorator. OK if daddy is going to pay your bills.
The students didn't understand why good writing was important. I told them many employers would not even consider an applicant who couldn't write well because he or she may be writing to customers, suppliers, other employees. God help him if he couldn't spell. No business wanted to be represented by an employee who made glaring errors in writing. The same thing is true of business speech vs street speech. You had better know the difference. I told them that the path to success was no longer the traditional white collar. Those were the employees who used to climb the ladder; could count on benefits and promotions. Those companies would take care of you from college graduation until you retired with the gold watch. Those jobs are gone. I told them they needed to think twice about the trades and specialized training.
I asked them to picture the guy sitting on the couch who graduated with a degree in romance languages, waiting for his shift as a cab driver to start, while the ;plumber is in his bathroom making 35 dollars an hour fixing his toilet, in his rented apartmenI. I also told them to think smart if you want to teach they may want to follow a liberal arts education. If you want to be a professional then yes a four year college is for you and yes you will probably need a Masters degree. Within ten years some jobs will become obsolete while others come on line.It is their responsibility to stay updated on what is happening in the marketplace. That is where they will make their living. I think we should make every big bank and big corporation offer free training to the unemployed and those wanting to enter the job market. We couldn't make the bnks lend and the corporations continue to build wealth on the backs of taxpayers so make them do something constructive for all the people out there coming out of college or who have been laid off. Vocational schools were drained of their funding to make way for traditional college classes. Big mistake. Part of the reason colleges like high schools are turning out students who are not truly educated is that we have lowered the standards of academic classes so everybody can graduate. Most of those students should never have been college bound. Wake up America our young people need to be told the truth about the money they are putting out for a college educaation.
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