You Can Lead Someone to College but You Can’t Make Them Think

I am currently about a month away from graduating college and entering a less than desirable job market. And if the limited amount of career opportunities isn’t enough to make me sweat, the feeling that I am now only slightly more knowledgeable than I was freshman year has me constantly wiping my brow. I keep asking myself if my education was worth the crippling student loans.

But, as I learned from a report I caught on Taxi TV, apparently I am not alone. According to the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, which follows the lives of 2,300 university undergrads, students aren’t taking much away from their college education these days. Duh, I could have told you that. As a public relations major, I have yet to write a paper over 12 pages and I spend a maximum of four hours on homework a week (sorry for partying). I am among one of the many students majoring in business, education, social work and communications who will show the smallest knowledge gain during their college career in comparison to liberal arts students.

Let me throw another scary fact at you: 36% of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” over four years of college. Woof. Good thing this book wasn’t around when I was applying to schools, or my ass would be back home at community college right now.

So, if we aren’t learning anything in college, why are companies paying “big bucks” for employees who are college educated? Why not recruit from well known secondary schools? Although that may be a potential money saving strategy, companies probably won’t be hiring high school graduates any time soon. So the good news for recent college grads heading out into the job market: even if you feel your smarts are lacking, at least you’ve got your $200,000 diploma to back you up.

Posted by Alex

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