If you are the parent of a student leaving high school or of a fresh graduate, understand that a degree no longer guarantees a good job. Prepare him/her for real life. Help them to gain transferable skills. Employers tell me that students who take the effort and time to learn outside their curriculum are more likely to gain the skills needed for a career. The best skill a student can learn in college is actually the ability to learn.
What can students do during college to prepare for the workforce?
“Fresh graduates know nothing outside their curriculum”, a Human Resource Manager recently told me.
When we asked her further this was her explanation.
“These days children get it all structured. If they are weak in a subject there is instant tuition. From 6th grade they are send for coaching for competitive examinations. Their whole school life depends on clearing an examination for higher studies. But most of them fail to learn the basics. All the decisions are made for them since childhood. They are not taught to explore and find solutions for their problems. And once they graduate they will not be ready for the work force. There is no structure as such in a job, like the syllabus in the college. With no experience in such an environment most of the graduates are of no use to us. The worst part is many graduates find it difficult to adapt to the new environment once they are in a job.”
But how can they get experience if nobody is ready to hire them?
“Do internships. Offer to work for free when you are still in college. Everyone is ready to pay a lot of money to the college. But when it comes to unpaid internship students don’t feel good. Through internships you will get to experience the real world. Companies will get to try potential employees. Then it is all about on-job learning.”