An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education bemoans the fact that an education from a four year institution does not prepare the incoming labor pool for a job. Well, duh!!!!
Lacey Johnson, reporting from Washington, says:
Many employers believe colleges aren’t adequately preparing students for jobs, according to findings of a study presented here on Monday by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
The group surveyed more than 1,000 employers in various industries last month about whether job applicants possess the skills to thrive in the workplace. More than half of employers said finding qualified applicants is difficult, and just under half thought students should receive specific workplace training rather than a more broad-based education.
As a Liberal Arts major (class of 1977) I don’t think this is exactly a new phenomenon.
Employers are expecting too much if they expect perfection from applicants fresh out of undergrad with shiny Batchelor of Arts degrees. Employers should expect to provide training in the reality of life outside academia. However, they should expect employees to have basic skills. Being able to write a clear sentence legibly, being able to follow directions, having the gumption to do more than the minimum reuired and the responibilty to show up on time and as expected–all of these things should be learned in grade school and they aren’t even being addressed in college.
I truly believe that there are a lot of people attending universities who would definitely be better off doing apprenticeships or attending trade schools. They shouldn’t spend the time and money to pursue an additional four years of adolescence. That is not to say that the population shouldn’t be encouraged to pursue art or literature, music or history.(every day I am made aware that the adage “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” is very true.)
I’m not sure how to address the problem and obviously neither is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Maybe scrapping the entire system and providing a decent education that begins in elementary school would work (probably not though…