#InternPro Chat: “The Disconnect Between College Education and Career”

IP_TwitterWow, this week’s #InternPro Chat was a blur! Twitter could hardly keep up with all the discussion… and the fantastic advice from the #Internpro community.

Our topic was “The Disconnect Between College Education and Career”. And it seems a lot of people have some strong opinions on this subject.

  • How does one apply their major to the professional world?
  • Do colleges adequately really prepare students for career (and should they)?
  • How can students take better control of their education and career development?

These are just a few of the questions we asked that sparked a lively discussion. Check out the summary, below, for more advice and insights from our awesome #InternPro community!

Join us next week for our another episode of #InternPro Chat… on Monday, February 25th. The #InternPro Chat community will be talking about “Professionalism 101: What Your Helicopter Parents Should’ve Taught You.” Come on by at 9pm ET for conversation, learning and networking!


#InternPro Chat: “The Growing Disconnect Between College Education and Career”

Storified by YouTern· Thu, Feb 21 2013 12:04:10

Q1: Agree or disagree, and why? “I go to school to get educated, not to set myself up for a career.” #InternProYouTern
A1: What is the point in an education if it doesn’t lead to adding value to society/a career? #internproJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A1. Strongly disagree, most students at 4 yr coll/univ are there to get a degree that = high paying job/career #InternproGuy Davis
I learned more "real world" skills in the clubs I was in than in my college classes (overall) #InternProEmily Miethner
#InternPro A1 From current student perspective — TONS are wasting time, money because they’re here with no goal. Just wandering.Jeff Mason
Agree. College is a chance to grow from a kid who lives w/ your parents into an adult and find our what YOU are made of #InternProJeff Moore
A1 I thought I went for both…But I think I’ve learned more during my internship/work experience than I did in class. #internproElizabeth D. Sopha
Any school that tells you that you’ll get a job just by graduating from there is lying. Lying like a dog on a hot summer day. #internproDawn Rasmussen
A1 Disagree. If I wanted to just think I’d be on the web 24/7 on relevant sites. The institution of education is about the future #internproHarper Yi
@YouTern Disagree; all college experience should lead towards a career. If not, why go/spend the money? #InternPro #sorrynotsorryReese Haydon
#InternPro years 1 and 2 to get educated and years 3 and 4 to get a career.. #HonestyBertram Byam Jr.
Yes! MT @HarperYi Think a degree is all it takes to land a job? You’re living in dreamland. Intern, network, build a brand. #internproEmily Miethner
Q2: Do colleges adequately prepare students for the workforce? Is it fair to judge #highered on employability? #InternProYouTern
A2: Colleges can only do so much. It’s up to the student to go the full way. #internproRob McGahen
A2. IMO, no. I am in the midst of conducting mock interviews and I see lot of students not at all ready for the work world #InternproGuy Davis
A2 Having a career fair does not count as helping students get jobs!!! #internproJohn Muscarello
A2. Most schools do not adequately prepare their students! Absolutely fair to judge them for what they charge!!! #internproMatthew T. Forrest
A2 is it fair to judge teachers on how well students read and write? Higher Ed is the same but with more placed on the students #InternProSteve Levy
A2. Yes – you just need to take advantage of the opportunities provided. #internproSarah Lamers
@YouTern a2 higher Ed should be graded on employability and you would see more shifts with market demands, higher ROI 4 students #InternProEB
A2: Those that emphasize part-time degree related work, co-ops or internships are doing it right #InternProTom Bolt
A2 – This is major dependent. Career-focused (technical degrees/business) typically do. Lib arts struggle in this area… #internproSamuel Hershberger
@Recruit4u I have a liberal arts degree and teach at a liberal arts university. I fail to see this as an issue. #internproKenna Griffin
Q2: I agree that most college career centers are outdated and do not prepare students for modern career search. #internproDanique Robinson
Professors play a role in negatively advising students on careers. When was the last time THEY looked for work? 20 yrs ago? #InternProDawn Rasmussen
"#Highered" — thought someone was misspelling hired. Oops. #internproDonna Svei
Colleges doing something right. Lowest levels of unemployment are for those w bachelors or more. #internproDonna Svei
Q3: When asked Q2 in a recent survey, 72% of educators said ‘yes’ compared to just 36% of students. Why the discrepancy? #InternProYouTern
Q3 shows the obvious disconnect between how much univ think they are helping vs how much they really are #internproSimone Medley
A3. Educators are often disconnected from the reality of the current job market whereas graduates are smacked in the face w/it #internprojwells18
@YouTern Rochester Institute of Technology forces career development down students throat and it pays in the end #InternProBertram Byam Jr.
Educators arent in the thick of it and may not understand current economic/job hardships. Times change quickly #blindspot #internproJulie Feinerman
#InternPro A3 Ask a car salesman if his car is safe enough, then ask if he drives it. There’s a disconnect when it comes to job search.Jeff Mason
@YouTern a3 I suspect educators are focused on having taught content well not how applicable content was in real world #InternProEB
A3: Different expectations. Do educators know what students want/need? Do students even know what they need??? #InternProTom Bolt
A3: Lack of initiative on part of the students? Or career ctrs are blinded/biased by small budgets, either way. #InternProReese Haydon
Q3 tells us there is a MAJOR disconnect between the customer and the manufacturers of the college product. #InternProMark Babbitt
@DrJanice sometimes I feel like I was brainwashed in college they said w x major you’ll make x $ but didn’t say how #InternProBeth Anne
Q4: I loved getting my degree in 15th Century Dance. How do I translate that into a 21st Century job? #InternProYouTern
A4: Identify the transferable skills and sell them to a potential employer. 70% of people don’t work in their degree field anyway #internproJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A4: Internship and get some #skills or certifications #InternProArron Daniels
A4: Repeat after me: "You want fries with that?" #InternProTom Bolt
@Recruit4u my accounting professor thinks EVERYONE should minor in Business because life is a business :) #InternProBeth Anne
A4: If you didn’t learn how to connect with people in college, you wasted four years and a lot of $. #InternProDr. Janice Presser
A4 – Worry less about translating it into a job, instead focus on your skills or internships you can relate to a job #InternProJeff Moore
If you can dance, you can follow/lead. Tremendous #transferableskills learned in dance. #internproDonna Svei
A4: #internpro students need to talk abt skills learned from degree & how those fit into job marketBHSU Student Success
Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on. #internproJacobi Guyton
A5. Thats worse than Medieval Studies. Do internships and use a functional skills based resume so that employers don’t ignore you #InternproGuy Davis
Q5: Isn’t college supposed to be fun? Is it too much to ask of a college freshman/sophomore to think about career? #InternProYouTern
Wait…I thought thinking about your career IS fun!? #internProChristina Harawa
A5) those who wait are those who come in the office April of senior year with a crappy resume and no LinkedIn #internproRich Grant
A5: Is it too much to ask freshman to think about their future and the benefit of all the debt their incurring? Me thinks not. #internproJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A5: You can’t hand a 17 year old a pamphlet and ask them to think 4 years in the future #internpro it has to be part of the programs cultureScott Keenan
A5 NO. I networked my way into a paid summer internship at a fortune 500 co my freshman year and now I have the edge! #internproHarper Yi
A5: No, We must all learn to mix the fun with play. We do it even when we work and the earlier you begin the better when you end #internproJovan Sterling Noel
A5 College is fun! Especially when all your ducks are in a row & you can relax because of it. #internproTonnisha J. English
Not only should we be certain that fresh/soph are considering careers, this convo should be had before they even go to college #internproSamuel Hershberger
A5: Anything is fun when you do what you love. But most of all, think of it in terms of making a living. #internproMike Verbickas
A5. Absolutely not. When they have a job & can pay off the student loans they had to take to get the degree – they’ll thank you. #internprojwells18
#internpro A5: learning in the field in their area of interest IS fun! Wish my school required internships for ALL majors!BHSU Student Success
A5) I saw a Ppt. slide; student pondering choices: B-ball game, FB & Twitter, workout, beer pong, go into town, resume workshop #internproRich Grant
#internpro I teach FYE course for undeclared. We do a LOT of personal & career exploration. You have to teach them what to look for!BHSU Student Success
Who says fun and working hard toward your future are mutually exclusive??? #InternProMark Babbitt
Q6: How can students take better control of their education and career development while still in college? #InternProYouTern
#internpro the problem is that most students in college just went because it’s "what they’re supposed to do." They don’t have a plan.Danique Robinson
A6 Join professional organizations… biggest mistake I made was not "making time" to do that… #internproElizabeth D. Sopha
Get on #SoMe early, start building your brand so when I find u I will be impressed and my client will be too! #InternproSteven G. Davis
A6: Respectfully ask career services to give you what you deserve.. demand it if necesary, but make sure you deserve it. #InternProTom Bolt
@YouTern A6: Well, I’ve found financing for your my own education makes me feel very in control — maybe others should try? #InternProReese Haydon
A6: All the #networking ever! #internpro Talk to profs, industry professionals, etc. Talk to people already doing your job and ask how.Scott Keenan
A6 When U start college ~ design your college path to be ready for IRL at graduation ( even w/o help fr college) #internproCASUDI
Q6 independent studies to study what you are interested in and volunteering I’m fields of interest to learn the business #internproSimone Medley
A6) Be PROACTIVE. There’s no waiting on the sidelines when it comes to your career. Start interning, researching and networking #internproJulie Feinerman
@YouTern A6: clubs, internships, clubs, internships, clubs, internships, clubs, internships, clubs, internships, clubs #InternProUncle Muscles
A6: For starters, better communication about career srvcs from the school to the students #internproDavid Nicola
A6: ACCEPT personal responsibility for your SUCCESS. #InternProMark Babbitt
Q7: How can #highered, employers and students/grads team up to improve career readiness? What’s the missing link? #InternProYouTern
A7: More opportunities for 1-1 mentoring. Most learning comes from personal experience. #InternproMike Verbickas
Q7 schools should require internships! Harsh but experience make you marketable! #internproSimone Medley
A7: Can take a horse to water but can’t make it drink, students need to realize the need/career centers need to be ready to serve #internproJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A7. The missing link is often the action on behalf of every party involved. #InternproUndergrad Success
#InternPro A7: Extremely developed employer/university relationships. If a U knows what an employer wants they know what to teach.Bryan Bumgardner
And people like me who want to help! @HarperYi: A7 it is up to the student to fill in the gap. There’s an internet for that. #internpro”Kenna Griffin
@YouTern Go above and beyond outside of class. Create blogs/online presence that gives you a unique brand. Be unique. #InternProBryce Arens
A7): time delay, #highered curricula is based on old economic & social demands. #internproBrooks Ahlfenger
A7. Career Services + Alumni Association working together to help mentor students. People love to talk about what they do #internprojwells18
A7: It’s tough to change the establishment (school). You may need to go it alone. #internproRob McGahen
A7: #highered need to talk with employers, & include industry news in the lectures, Offer internships & students must seek it #internproJovan Sterling Noel
A7: Maintaining faculty, alumni, industry, student relationships. Creating and encouraging networking opportunities. #internproKenna Griffin
A7: Fund the heck out of career development. Fund credit courses,internships, mentor programs. Fund, fund, fund. Nuf said! #internproELiz Dexter-Wilson
1. Get college admin to push career centers. 2. Educate profs and students 3. We (everyone on chat) need to talk about this. #InternProDawn Rasmussen
Q8: Some educators and career center professionals really “get it”. What do they do different… and who are they? #InternProYouTern
A8 They are the ones who Listen and care to make a difference. Shame , that there are not many around #InternProSonalee Arvind
A8. These are the nontraditional career centers that keep up on innovation in the industry and care for their students. #InternproUndergrad Success
A8: those that "get it" have a heart for serving students and take pride in others success #internproDavid Nicola
@YouTern Real life application. Getting out of the classroom and tackling the issues grads will face before they graduate #InternProBryce Arens
A8 Great schools create alums who know uni made them better, & they want to hire kids who went through the same transformation #internproHarper Yi
A8 They listen to the struggles recent grads have finding jobs, and help find solutions! #internproJohn Muscarello
A8 The one educator I will probably never forget had experience in the industry before she became a professor.. #internproElizabeth D. Sopha
#InternPro they are the people that say how is your day versus what are your grades…those who challenge and provide strong examplesBertram Byam Jr.
A8) I think it’s more than "some" there has to be over 2000 colleges, maybe 3000. Based on knowing 100-200, I have a pos. opinion #internproRich Grant
A8: They stay relevant and up-to-date with what’s going on in the real world. They stay out of the bubble. #internproRob McGahen
A8: They are PROFESSIONALS as well as PROFESSORS #InternProChristina Harawa
The career centers that "get it" are on this chat. #justsayin #internproDawn Rasmussen
@YouTern A8: network, network, network! They know the recruiters and corporate pro’s who are watching their students! #InternProReese Haydon
Everyone who "gets it" has a "mentor" mentality. Anyone notice? #InternPro cc @profkrg #kudosMark Babbitt
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