Does college prepare you for the Real World?

by Lyna Hao


It is always disturbing and discouraging when you hear that even after going to college and getting your bachelors degree, many are still having a hard time trying to get employed. Ever since we were young, we were always told that if we got a higher education and finished college, we would succeed in the real world. Due to this, most of us have this image in our minds, telling us that jobs will come flying our way once we get that degree. Although, we wished this was true.

It is said that even our four-year college education does not prepare us for what we aim to do in our future careers. This is “because workplaces are more complex and globalized, profit margins are slimmer, companies are leaner and managers expect their workers to get up to speed much faster than in the past (Tugend).” The gap between what colleges gives us and what employers want is widening and we are expected to do and know more with the limited knowledge we acquired from our college education.

Employers are putting high expectations on their new candidates of employees, although some of the qualities these employers are looking for must be learned or trained specifically to the job. Students being unprepared in the workforce is not just the responsibility of a university but also the responsibility for employers to step up and “become more innovative in helping young employees come up to the speed (Tugend).” Most college graduates expect to have on-the-ground training, although many do not receive it so the blame of who is unprepared for their job should be on the hands of the employer.

I chose the picture above, showing a college graduate holding a sign with “HIRE ME” written on it because we are all desperate. Desperate to find a career and a place in life and even with a bachelors degree right behind him, in society, it is not enough to be qualified for the real world. This relates to the inequality of power because employers have increased their high expectations on current graduates that hinders them from getting a job, which made me think about how even when we do try to overcome our oppression and receive a higher education to move forward, the ones in power then create a new situation that makes us feel like we can not move upwards.


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