Do College Students Need More Exposure to the Workplace?
Nicole Dieker
1711

I’ve worked in higher education for ten years and I’ve seen a subtle shift in traditional four year universities toward a more vocational type education. Students are requesting things like job placement after graduation, coding skills even if their major is non-technical, and access to career advisers with field specific knowledge or experience. There is a palpable anxiety around careers which impacts curriculum choices, faculty hiring, and educational philosophy. I meet a shocking number of students (undergraduate and graduate) who have never held a job. Their experience is very different from my own. From what I’ve seen, there is resistance from faculty to essentially teach job skills but it is what students expect, particularly as students seem to have a customer/consumer mindset. Meanwhile, faculty and staff don’t love the idea of being in a customer service industry. I would say this dynamic is fairly new and a result of the high cost of tuition.

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