What every student should know about university

What every student should know about university

August 17, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Let’s imagine you’re an ambitious teenager. Who’s fresh out of high school. Your goal is to have a successful career What’s the best way to maximize your chance of achieving this goal? The correct answer is to go to University Now, I know this path sounds outdated Especially when universities are so expensive and when you have all these other learning resources online for free But in reality this path has never been more fitting because right now people who have a Bachelor’s degree earn 60% more than high school finishers That’s an extra seven hundred thousand dollars over the course of a lifetime and this gap is only set to get larger they are also three times less likely to be unemployed and They tend to be more satisfied with their jobs too. Why then, are so many people complaining about degrees being useless Why are they thought to only teach books and neglect real life skills? These are baseless accusations either. One meta-analysis of around 300 studies found there was only a Low correlation between a person’s education level and how well they perform on their jobs So, is university worth it or not? to figure this out We firstly have to understand the real reason why university graduates are doing so much better in life The universities would like you to think it’s because students are taught skills which are valuable in the job market But with anecdotally and empirically this just isn’t happening. For example consider a degree in IT One survey of around 40,000 programs, asks: where did you learn your skills? And by far the most common response was “I learned it myself”, with 69% of people claiming to be either partly or fully self taught The next most common answer was “On the job training”, and only after, the people acknowledge the bachelor in computer science in fact around 3/5 of Programmers didn’t even have an IT degree clearly Universities aren’t that essential to the process of learn Also, take a look at a degree in education It’s surprising that out of a hundred and seventy studies only 9% found that teachers with higher University education were better at teaching the majority of them found No effect and some of them even found a slightly negative effect This means that both bachelor’s and Master’s degree, don’t do much to improve the quality of teachers Sure there are exceptions, for example, teachers who’ve had more Maths related coursework are better at teaching Math You can see this because the students score higher in Math tests But the same paper that said that, found no such evidence for English, History or Science So while this degree might teach some schools, by and large is quite useless Now I’m not going to go on and say that a medical degree is also completely useless But unfortunately with the way that the course is set up, a large portion of it is specifically at undergraduate degree You must complete before you enter medical school. This degree can be in any field you want But to make the most of it, most students studied biomedicine, so they have some sort of foundational knowledge Some students though, will get a degree in something completely unrelated like film studies or political science but in the end whether you choose biomedicine or film study, it makes no difference As research shows, both groups of students will score equally on the clinical exams by third-year Both groups will also be scored equally by their supervisors during internship In fact getting a high GPA in undergraduate years is barely Predictive of a student’s lated clinical skills in hospital and yet medical schools won’t let you in unless you have one So once again if these degrees are teaching you anything, What gives degree holders their huge advantage? The answer lies in Signalling Theory, a theory which won the 2001 Nobel prize for economics It states that while a degree itself isn’t worth a lot, what it signals to others is See a good recruiter knows that degrees are hollow and don’t really prepare graduates for the job But with potentially hundreds of applicants. They need a quick way to separate a good employee from a bad one They can’t use IQ unless they want to get sued so they use the next best thing: a degree Because even if they’re useless people who choose to attend university tend to be smarter in the first place They’re also probably more motivated for their career, more accustumed to deadlines, less likely to do drugs Harder working, and so on. And while this filter works, it creates a deeply flawed system For the employers one day an outstanding candidate is going to apply for the job and it’s going to get rejected simply because he didn’t fulfill this superficial criteria As for the employees, well, they’re now forced to get a degree To stay competitive regardless of whether it’s useful or not And this is no easy sacrifice either For some it costs their whole life saving and for all it wastes our most youthful years So what can we do about it? Well someone said we should ban employers from asking about University credentials Just like how he banned them from asking about religion or politics Perhaps then, people will stop mindlessly substitute a degree for the actual learning or skills But as this won’t happen any time soon let me suggest some personal advice Don’t listen to anyone who says that it’s important to study hard and get good grades in University It’s a waste if all that’s really important is the signal instead aim for the bare minimum And more importantly use the spare time to focus on the other opportunities that universities offer For example if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. That’s fine But use this time then to experiment with different courses and figure out which fields genuinely interest you Or perhaps you want to improve your social skills if that’s the case Universities are one of the best opportunities you’ll have for socializing with multiple clubs and societies and a diverse range of people to interact with Alternatively you could apply for an internship to get some job experience You may even start your own project like a YouTube channel or a startup company? all these aspects of University Aren’t really emphasized to us and yet all of them would be a better investment of your time Because ultimately what you do when you’re not studying is what you learned the most from So make sure to get the most out of your time at University Hey guys, if you want more psychology videos to check out head over to psych2go and see what they’ve got I hope you’ve enjoyed this video till next time take care