We all know the importance placed on a good college education and I’m not disputing that. Jobs are tougher to get, markets more competitive, and a degree goes a long way. On the same note, university experience needs to go hand in hand with work experience. So here’s my problem…
I am currently a finishing off a degree, and frankly… it sucks. Overcrowded lectures, Mumbled notes fired out so quickly without any great explanation, illogical timetabling but worst of all the lack of relevance to the specific course. Hmm lets see, we have x amount of students studying y amount of courses, paying $ amount of fees… how can we milk this cash cow for every penny its worth…? Simple solution – crossover classes that just about have enough relevance to classify as legitimate module, because it loosely fits in with the general theme of things.
Then of course we have the ‘support’ net, tutors at beckon call for anything you are unsure of… apparently. Chase anything up, vague replies. Not to mention that in an overcrowded class, its impossible to share the time. Though I digress… the point here is more about the content of the courses. WHY TEACH GODDAMN FILLER? Seriously… I have no problem rolling my sleeves up and diving in to heavy workloads and have done so plenty of times. When the modules are relevant, I throw everything I have into them, try to learn everything possible around the subject and even learn extra things along the way. All that filler does in the next semester, is focus my attention on something meaningless and irrelevant in the real world. Why not teach things that will actually help the students with relevant skills, real world skills….
Working while doing a course, gave me a great opportunity to really look and see what is missing… I know people with full degrees, and other courses, that can’t get a job in their specialist field, as they don’t have recorded experience in certain areas to fall back on. Yet work somewhere 6 months and you already have a nice little bit of experience in the programs or areas that employers would prefer you to already know. There are so many programs, standards or procedures… even the smallest things. These go a long way… and take very little time to teach. For example, maybe teach potential programmers some of the little programs and tips that 99% of companies will use. You will help them a lot more.
With all that being said, the thing that really pisses me off now, is seeing the astronomical increase that’s happening in the fees. And before people start screaming ‘think of the subsidies’ or ‘You won’t have to pay x,y and z until you are earning over certain thresholds’, don’t kid yourself. I have student loans before this all changed. Fuck only knows how many more years my salary will be drained of something I paid to specialize in, only to learn half of what could really be relevant to that specialist field… and when you take a look around at all the various tax increases, price hikes, benefit cuts, pension cuts, and whatever else they shift next ask yourself this: how long before they lower that threshold a little more? Watered down courses and crippling debts don’t paint a pretty picture for the future. The next generation are in for one hell of a ride at this rate… if you think things are getting rough now, this is nothing compared to what has been before and what will be again. Maybe everyone needs to step back and look at the bigger picture, before we do a U-turn and repeat history