by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Zack Slayback writes for the Martin Center about an important career skill for college students.
Most people go to college to get a job.
Recreation is an added benefit on top of getting a job. Education comes second to recreation in terms of hours spent studying.
That is the great secret of a college education. It’s the secret everybody within the walls of the university knows but isn’t allowed to really say. It’s the topic that’s covered over drinks at the campus bar, and it’s what the “cool” professor tells students in class.
Whether or not university marketers and employees want to believe this secret is irrelevant. Maybe universities should be a place for liberal enlightenment, bright civic discussion, and a robust environment for becoming a better citizen.
But the reality is that students see college differently. It’s a career-enhancement tool first and foremost, a status tool second, and a recreation tool third. And if education is gained along the way, great.
Even when we look at realistic measures for college graduate employment, universities do a poor job. Just this past week, I sat down with an Ivy League computer science grad who was struggling to find a job. “The school doesn’t teach you how to get a job. Everything you’re talking about — networking, talking to people, searching out companies — that’s something nobody on campus taught,” they said.