Something That College Courses Does Not Teach You

College classes are great. They may last for only 45 minutes, your professor may or may not have invented ethernet, and they can be really really interesting. What makes college courses different from high school classes is that you’re actually taking classes that are specific to want you want to do for a career, and you therefore are more motivated to pay attention, study, and take the knowledge you learn in class, outside of the classroom. However, is what we learn outside of the classroom more valuable than what we’re learning during lectures?

It is no secret that there are certain jobs that you absolutely need to have years of classroom experience in. I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer to have a surgeon who went to undergrad, medical school, and went through residency compared to someone on the street who has a pair of scissors looking to make some cash. On the other hand, there are multiple types of jobs that benefit from an employee having background knowledge about the topic, like teaching, but employees will learn the most when they are in the classroom getting first hand experience.

There are different types of learners who require different styles of teaching in order for them to be the best student and employee. This isn’t meant to say that classroom learning isn’t important, because it provides anyone with the fundamentals that they need in order to navigate their career on their own. Going back to our teaching example, a student could spend 4 years in college learning about different student learning styles, methods of instruction, etc. but if they were thrown into a classroom without a student teaching background the first day of school would be a recipe for disaster.

Everything seems to be changing these days, and that includes many career fields. A professor can attempt to teach their students about the relevant technology that they will need for their jobs, but once a student actually starts an internship they won’t be able to really know what will be needed of them until they get real life experience.

What this means for you is that regardless of what your major is, attending your classes are important. There’s no surprise there. However, everyone needs to get some sort of practical experience with their intended job so they don’t walk in on the first day questioning what Excel is (hopefully everyone has learned that much in college). It is up to you to navigate the field on your own and determine how what you have learned in college will help you with your future.