Skip to comments.No hard sciences? Then no job offer
Posted on 05/08/2014 5:18:30 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
A college education historically has been the route to a better-paying job and a satisfying career. But currently, more than half of college graduates are underemployed in jobs that dont require a college degree.
Why the growing disconnect? Certainly, the main reason is our economys slow recovery. But I believe another reason is the lack of substantive learning in many students college studies. And while not unique in this regard, the failure to prepare students to adequately perform in degree-required jobs is evident in the undergraduate curriculum at the University of Minnesota.
Every year Vascular Solutions hires recent college graduates for our MedDevice Associate program, which is modeled as a working apprenticeship for medical device marketing managers and salespeople. Specific coursework related to medical devices isnt a prerequisite for our program, but a candidate must demonstrate proficiency in learning and communicating complicated subjects a skill we expect to be developed by a college education.
We just finished interviewing for the 2014 class, and it was clear from most students transcripts that their college curriculum did not serve them well in developing these essential skills.
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
Wait a second... I thought EVERY college student had to take at least one hard science? I personally took physics AND chemistry even though I wasn’t going those tracks. MOST ungrads I knew took Biology 101 which was amusing, because those lecture halls were ridiculous.
you mean those courses in womens studies wont help you get a job!
oh wait! there are always government appointments by democrats to give these people jobs!
We require our healthcare management majors to take Biology 101 and Anatomy I and II, so they will have some idea of what healthcare professionals do.
Things haven’t been like that for a while.
My kid is currenty working on a bio-chem major. Very tough compared to the kids skating through on sports medicine and the like. The difference between the final exams for the two groups is astounding.
I have developed the view that perspective job applicants need to be able to demonstrate three areas of their personality:
Motivation / Discipline
Morals / Ethics
Skills / Education
Unfortunately, Colleges often only address the Education area. And sometimes, not even that area is well covered.
I do know one chick who got a well-paying job with that degree. She heads up an historical farm that is heavily subsidized by the state and federal government. But when recently visiting, I noticed the vegetable garden was overrun with weeds and pests. I guess women studies doesn’t have anything to do with gardening. Who would have guessed?
Duh... this is why we can’t find US citizens to fill our IT jobs. We need at least 10 million H1B’s. IT unemployment here in DFW is less than 1.2%. There are very few US born citizens with any degrees or logical thinking skills.
Indeed. I went to a liberal arts college in the 90’s, and everyone had to enroll in at least 1-2 courses across every discipline. So even we compsci majors had to take an “FPA” (fine/performing arts) class, the art majors had to come to our side and do a “T” (Technology) course, and so on. Everyone had to pick an “I” (Integrated) , which were special courses comprised of 2 or more disciplines, and they has to be outside of your major. So there was the “History of Art” (social science + art), “Personal Mythology” (psych + philosophy), and so on.
That used to be what a high school diploma meant. Then the left destroyed public schools, so employers started requiring a BA or BS just to ensure they had basic English, science and math skills. Now they've degraded universities to the point that even that doesn't mean they have basic knowledge and skills.
I was doing undergrad in the late 90s and had roughly the same requirements. We had “multicultural” requirements where we had to take an “X and Y credit” which was just a designator for stupid crap like “Race in American Literature” which I took anyway since I was an English student.
It seems today that the true “basics” (math, science, English) are not requirements, which is a travesty. How could we legitimately churn out “educated” children if they can’t do at least mid-level algebra, write a sentence, or understand how gravity works? That strikes me as terrifying. It’s no wonder our education system is becoming a planetary joke.
1.2%?? Wow, here in the Chicago area it's around 5%, considering the state unemployment rate here is hovering around 8.5% I didn't think 5% was too bad.
I may have to accelerate my plans to move to Texas. Was trying to hold off leaving Illinois until the youngest son graduates high school. How's the IT Wages down there?
I was a C biology student in high-school and yet I am amazed at how much science I seem to know compared to most others I encounter.
I always joked about how us Bio majors had the worst of it.
We had to take both kinds of Chemistry because you can’t understand Bio without Chem. But of course you can’t understand Chem without Physics so you have to take that,
We had to get multiple semesters of Physics and Chem with labs “out of the way” before we could even start on a bio major.
Good for you and your organization! However I know of too many nurses and ancillary techs that have never had a chemistry,pharmacology, or anatomy course with a difficulty level greater than the Cliff Notes level.
Bio is definitely a heavy subject, hence my laugh at the expense of undergrads who took it for their one mandatory science. Most of them take it for the relative lack of math compared to chem or, especially, physics.
My college came up with a physics for those without calculus to help liberal arts majors get a hard science without having to take biology or chemistry.
Fixed. Supply and demand. Simple. Stop the low balling stop the H1B Bullh!t.
I can see avoiding the hard sciences by taking a course load heavy on mathematics, macro and micro economics, finance, accounting etc. I don’t mean some of those MBA or Business degrees that are all theory and management....I mean some serious mathematically based knowledge of finance and economics.
The medieval curriculum centered on logic, grammar and rhetoric. The objective was to train people to think and communicate logically. No wonder it’s called the Dark Ages.
Now, in this age of Enlightenment, learning centers on Diversity. That’s progress.
Hold on, Turbo. It WAS that way until the students began questioning the RELEVANCE of distributional requirements. A lot of universities eliminated their distributional requirements often stating that the students were in the best position to determine what courses were RELEVANT to their to their personalized field of study. The result was that many students loaded up on meaningless but perhaps entertaining courses like “Lady Gaga—Her Contribution to Art in the 21st Century”. The result is we have people who have degrees that, sadly, are worth neither the paper one which they are printed nor the tuition paid.
I’m not Turbo, but I take your meaning and your point and agree with you on all points made. I’ve been out of college for 12 years. Things changed rapidly since I left, it seems.
I was a Chem major. By time I was done, I had minors in physics, math, and German, or was one or two credits shy. And that’s for an undergrad BS in Chemistry (I also double-majored in English/Mass Communications).
Today, I make my living in IT. My ticket to play there was a two-year Associate of Science that has paid off a hundred times better than my Bachelor’s.
College is basically day-care with sex and alcohol for most people.
It would expensive to require everyone involved in healthcare to know everything. Clearly, pharmacists have to know chemistry and pharmacology. And, with healthcare moving beyond re-setting of bones and such, and involving more and more drug therapy, we have been re-visiting the expectations of nurses. I think this is why we are seeing the bachelors degree required for nurses, instead of merely the associates degree, with the B.S. in Nursing involving chemistry and pharmacology courses appropriate to nurses. The investment required for a B.S. in Nursing generally pays good dividends in terms of a high-paying job.
“There’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s called ‘college’” - Chef (South Park)
Seriously. You may not need *as much* math, but when you have to memorize all the components of the Krebs cycle or try to identify pinned organs in a dissected animal it definitely gets heavy!
Ecology was my concentration so I was really excited about finally getting to take an Intro class in it. The professor walks in the first day and explains that this class is about population dynamics and the way living things interact. It is a science course. It was not going to cover recycling, global warming, environmental activism, politics, or anything like that—so if those were what you wanted, this wasn’t the class for you.
Sounded like he was saying this disclaimer out of personal experience. And, indeed, a few people did walk out. But it was one of the best classes I ever had.
Exactly. Outside of engineering, science and medicine, there really is no “core” courseload requirement any more; it’s all “ala carte” choices by the students.
So you get what Mr. Root was explaining: students with courses in all manner of easy fluff and no core competency in useful skills.
Anything to get the money out of the kids’ pockets and then get the kids out the door with a higher GPA than they deserve.
True science professionals and teachers of raw sciences HAVE to disclaim their purposes, because society and the government have bastardized the meaning of specific sciences. People hear “Ecology” and think “recycling.” *-logy means “the science of...” not “the study of...”
To be fair, we had a lot of distribution requirements-one year math, two years foreign language, two semesters of literature over and above the first year writing classes, and two terms of “arts” - either music and or applied art or art history. We even had one credit required physed once a week as freshmen! If there are requirements today, look it up- they usually include at least one “gender” class.
This is what we USED to expect from our high school graduates, but now have difficulty obtaining from college grads.
The college graduate, in this technological age, should know mathematics through calculus and statistics, and should know the basics of physics, chemistry, and biology. He should know the basics of computing, and be able to research things online, use word processing, spreadsheets, etc.
He should know philosophy and be familiar with ancient Greek philosophy as well as more modern philosophers, and be able to argue aspects of their theories.
The reason why we have grads who cannot do this, is because our society has decided that EVERYONE should go to college, not just those who can actually master college-level material.
Like Ben Rhodes, who has a degree in creative writing, whose brother runs CBS and who got to sit in the situation room watching a terror attack, live? Then got to formulate the "story" they would tell the rest of the 330 million Americans that were asking why, how?
His college degree came in handy to be able to work in the White House. And what is he 25?
You train people to do a job. You educate people to be good citizens.
Even 20 years ago most colleges offered classes like ‘Math and Science for Journalism Majors’. Which was a one semester class counting for both their math and science requirements. In the college I went to it was taught by a junior or senior undergrad in one of the hard sciences or math.
This is why liberal arts majors are party majors. Few of their classes are challenging.
They had no business going to college in the first place and would have been better served by learning a trade.
Bio 101 used to include a thorough knowledge of the metabolic process...and would test for it.
Does it still, or has that been dumbed down to basic life science and global warming?
Excellent article. Too bad it had to be excerpted.
You got credit for bowling? Real credit?
There are more than 10 million US citizens with STEM degrees either unemployed or underemployed working outside their fields.
When hiring managers have been total frauds for their entire careers, they just can't risk hiring a qualified person whose presence might make that discrepancy obvious.
It looks to me that BIO 101 is “basic.” BIO 102 has been turned into evolution and is not required for Anatomy I and we do not require it for our major in healthcare management.
As to what is expected of a student in 4-credit biology course, this is a good resource:
Yeah, 2 credits, finished all my requirements, needed 2 credits to graduate and that was the only course open. I figured what the hell, my draft lottery pick was 26 and my draft board couldn't wait to get me.
Bowling for Dollars
I've seen plenty of nurses with B.S.'s and they were dumb asses. Oh yeah...they maybe were book smart...but couldn't assess a critically ill patient...if their life depended on it.
That said...I've seen quite a few Doctors that were dumb asses too!!
Personally....I believe a B.S. in Nursing is just a money making racket for colleges.
Yep....I took Basketball and Racketball....Actually had fun doing them...but I could have been doing something more meaningful directed towards my goal.
What business isn’t “money making racket.” I wouldn’t want to be associated with one that wasn’t. Generally, businesses that serve their customers well make money. I do, however, have suspicions about businesses that are subsidized by the taxpayer.
I’m surely not opposed to making money. I just don’t think some Health Care jobs need to have Doctorates or Masters, ie: Physical Therapists. And I don’t think some need to have B.S.’s...ie: Nurses, RT’s, OT’s, etc....
Yeah...most colleges are run on taxpayer money...But I never took a dime from anyone. I made too much money..the years before I changed up on jobs.
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