Green Rascal Design

 
 
This is a timely discussion now that it is back-to-school time. In true rascal fashion, I think both yes and no answer the question. Of course it also has something to do with the particular graduate you might be thinking about. There are plenty of well-rounded individuals exiting college that would be great employees. And there are also a lot of partiers who didn't learn a thing during their time at college. But your average college graduate these days is prepared for the technical aspects of the working world, but not the culture.

Colleges are doing well at introducing students to new technologies and getting them to be proficient in their use. Chances are your graduate has had some contact with whatever software you require. They are probably pretty good at using any computer system you might have. They know the tricks of how to get things done fast.

Colleges, however, have teachers not bosses. Recent college grads don't know how to follow corporate rules, and when they decide they've had enough of your crap they will leave you. Nowadays that might not be quite as true as a couple years ago, but I'm willing to wager there are some fields where job hopping is still possible. Architecture has always been different in this respect because architecture schools are difficult and demanding places for students, and I feel like architecture graduates can and will put up with more culture related crap than most other recent grads. But all the same, recent graduates don't have a feel for navigating staff meetings and face time with clients.

College graduates are ready for the working world, but only at a certain level. And I have no doubt that they can climb the ladder quickly once they have mastered the social skills necessary to be a professional. It is all relative to the graduate and the workplace they find themselves in. There are offices out there that will squash their interns like bugs without hesitation, and certainly college graduates are not prepared for that. I don't believe they should have to be, but that is a different discussion. My conclusion is that colleges could definitely add something to their programs that addresses how to behave in a professional work environment, but what they do well is churn out graduates with a lot of technical abilities who will pick up on what their educations lacked in a timely manner.
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Comments

08/24/2010 17:36

Most everything I've ever learned worth learning was after I first discovered humility. It doesn't matter if you are a recent grad or a grizzled old fart, if you believe you are above the rules and the culture of an organization, it is probably you who needs to learn a bit. Stand back, be objective and even when experiences are not ideal, the best and brightest will always choose to learn something instead of just leaving.

Hollie
08/25/2010 10:43

I agree. Thanks for the comment. If I prepared my opinion as well as your post on the subject that would have been better, I suppose. But I just call it as I see it. Younger generations come out with tremendous skill, and they are able to quickly learn what they need after entering the professional world.


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