That quote from John Leutner, head of global learning at Xerox summarizes the conclusion of a piece in the Washington Post. We just posted about how US society has come to view higher education in terms of vocational traning rather than personal development. The WaPo article points out that recent research suggests this may be a problem:
What these recent studies show is that too many students are focused on the wrong things in college. Too many of them are worried, for example, about picking the right college major for the job market, when it really doesn’t matter what they major in as long as they are rigorous in their studies as well as activities beyond the classroom.
There is also too much emphasis these days on picking a practical field of study, which is why business is the most popular undergraduate major. But employers need people who are broadly educated and have practical skills. Too many colleges are failing to provide that guidance and those opportunities to students while saddling them with debt they won’t be able pay off in the unemployment line.
One of the country’s most-sought-after employers, Google, has found that it is increasingly hiring people without college degrees because the signal of the credential is no longer as clear as it used to be that someone is job ready. If colleges don’t provide the mix of academic and practical experiences that students need and students fail to take advantage of them, pretty soon we’ll see other employers looking for alternatives to the college degree as well.
You can read the full story here.