What Colleges and Universities Don’t Teach You

Sure, colleges and universities offer many programs to choose from. Students find a degree program they’re interested in and earn their college degree. They celebrate the success of graduating with a college degree and then the job search begins….

Colleges and universities not only expand your knowledge in a particular subject, but they also teach you to adhere to deadlines, present information, be punctual, and to collaborate with others. But what do colleges and universities not teach you?

  1. The real world requires not only a degree but experience. Where can you find experience? Internships are a great place to start! Volunteering is another method. As long as you know that just earning an education does not cut it. What does this teach students? It says that in order to become successful, students must do more than just attend classes; instead they should get involved and seek experience that pertains to their college degree. Don’t wait until you graduate to gain experience, start early. Use summers and breaks throughout the year to gain experience. You want to become a veterinarian? Volunteer at an animal shelter or work at a pet store. If you can’t find experience there, volunteer to walk the neighborhood dogs. Look for experience anywhere you can.
  2. While applying for jobs, you’ll find that a good resume is important. Students often wonder how they should go about writing a resume. There are certain writing techniques you should use to entice the reader. For example, short phrases are better than long detailed sentences. Colleges and universities don’t teach you how to write a resume, but most will guide students to websites or workshops where they can craft the perfect resume.
  3. You’ll come across a wide array of people as you earn your college degree. One thing that never ceases to stick out is the “just rolled out of bed college trademark look,” whether it be the large sweatpants or the bed head, this look is visible from a mile away. However, appearance is a chief factor when landing the job you want or even when approaching your professor. The image you portray illustrates what you want out of your career and your education. Remember, you are what you wear.  Just because there is no dress code doesn’t mean you should wear your favorite spaghetti stained shirt to class, or anywhere for that matter.
  4. While attending college classes it’s easy to forget that the connection you make with your professor is important. Aside from the fact that they are grading your tests and papers, they are people that you should develop a good relationship with. Why? Well, if you plan on attending any additional schooling after earning your degree you will need references from your professors. Some jobs even require references. The biggest mistake you can make is to be the shy student that never made any attempt at forming a bond with your professor. Besides, your professors are knowledgeable people who can provide guidance throughout your college career.
  5. Colleges and universities don’t teach you how to navigate a computer. Not that you have to be a computer whiz, but it may be beneficial to take a computer course before enrolling full-time in a degree program. Microsoft programs, typing skills, and navigating the internet are all skills used in almost all college classes. Sure, most professors are more than happy to assist students with any technical questions they may have, but it’s really your responsibility to become computer savvy.

With all this being said, it’s important to note that colleges and universities DO teach you to be independent. So, while you may not have learned how to write a resume, your college or university provided you with resources, such as resume writing workshops.

Think of colleges and universities as a parent teaching a child. There is a lot of information to share and some you leave up to the child to learn independently.

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