You Did What in College?

writing-resumeIf you are a parent of a college-age student or college graduate, how many of your child’s courses can you name?  Go ahead.  Take your time.  I’m betting you were able to come up with at least five which, over a 4-year college span isn’t so bad (my tongue is in my cheek).

Can you name some of the courses they didn’t take? Perhaps a foolish question but let me start you off:
Courses My College – Student child did not take while at college
* Networking Skills (not everyone is born with an outgoing personality)
* Job Research Skills
* Interviewing Skills (what? They took one in the last semester of senior year? Oh.)
* Selling Yourself
* Career Management

When our son entered college, my wife and I attended the Parent Orientation with him.  They took the students off to another room while they filled us in on life on campus, learning to let them be, sending them cookies and other such topics.  One question they asked the parents was “what do you expect your student to get out of the college experience?” (“Student.” That’s how they refer to your child, your “student.” Not a bad title, I guess, if you consider that we’re all students, really).  By and large, the parental responses were “a good job.”

When they brought the students back in and asked them the same question (what do you expect to get out of college?  The students answered, “learning lots of things in their field” as well as meeting other kids, having new experiences, etc.

Very few said that they were looking to get a good job.  Somebody’s missing something here.  Is it the parents?  Is it the students? Is it the school?

You can excuse the parents for being more pragmatic.  After all, it’s likely that they are the ones who will be shelling out all that dough.  You can excuse the students.  Their answer – in my opinion – is what they should be looking to get out of college.

In my opinion again, society has changed too rapidly.  Colleges have gotten too big too fast and they struggle – many of them – to stay afloat.  I won’t mention that they’ve become bloated because that’s not where I’m headed in these writings.

The reality is businesses expect the next crop of new hires to hit the ground running with all their skills built-in and fine-tuned. Businesses treat colleges as their “minor leagues.”  More next time.


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