Are There Specific Classes That Make College...

Are There Specific Classes That Make College Graduates Employable?

Emily Cole
on Aug 31, 2012

What if there were six required classes for every student that would make all college grads more employable? This article in Forbes Magazine says: "The goal of this course selection is to mostly help the student get comfortable pushing numbers around and understanding the context in which people earn money."

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What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-25T18:36:32+00:00
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Jiaxi Wei
on Mar 09, 2014
"For me personally, I know that there is a set of things called Gen Ed's (General Education) at my..."
Hadass Sheffer
on Sep 11, 2012
"This is a great question, and a good article, but why limit students to six "must have" courses?..."
Daryl Rowland
on Aug 31, 2012
"I would think that history might be higher on the list than calculus.  Understanding how fleeting..."
Emily Cole
on Aug 31, 2012
"There isn't a formula for success in college, but what courses will help prepare a student for..."

Emily Cole

Emily Cole - 2017-07-25T18:36:32+00:00 - "What if there were six required classes for every student that would make all college grads more..."

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Jiaxi Wei
on Mar 09, 2014 - 4:43 pm

For me personally, I know that there is a set of things called Gen Ed's (General Education) at my university. These Gen Ed's are required for undergraduate bachelor degrees. The general idea is quite similar to a "Six Required class for every student that would make all college grads more employable." For my school, Pennsylvania State University, we have 45 credits of gen ed's for all baccalaureate degree programs. 45 credits actually puts PSU the third most in terms of general education credits in the big ten schools (Unversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana Unveristy, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University,University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue, and University of Wisconsin-Madison)


 

While we do have a large amount general education required, there is still a negative attitude involved with the amount of required credits we have. This is due to how different majors often question the necessity of specific general education classes. For example, a many of my fellow liberal arts majors are still required to take chemistry or physic classes that have absolutely no need in their majors. These students will look at Gen Ed’s as a waste of time and effort in classes that won’t have any major impact on their career or their major. For me personally, I don’t believe that everyone who had declared their majors their freshman year actually have a inept idea of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Statistically around 80% of incoming freshman that declared their major opt to switch by the end of their freshman year. For those that do switch majors, the general ed credits are definitely a blessing simply because it made switch majors much easier. 
 
I also like the idea to have different majors take the same set of classes at the first part of their higher education career. These classes will help relate each major to each other at least a little bit. Especially since our society is experiencing a definite lack of trust and relate ability.

 

 
Emily Cole
on Aug 31, 2012 - 9:04 am

There isn't a formula for success in college, but what courses will help prepare a student for success both in college and in the future? This article suggests that there are six courses that every student should take during their college career, and here's the list: Economics, Statistics, Computer Programming, Calculus I, Communications, Financial Planning & Management. The general message in this article is that these courses signal to employers that the student has taken a challenging courseload. 

Do you agree that these six courses are essential to a students college experience and will directly impact both their marketability and their success in the work place after college? Are there other courses that you feel are invaluable? Or do you totally diagree and feel there are other courses or approaches that are a must in making sure students are prepared as they enter the "real world"?

 

Responses(2)

Daryl Rowland
on Aug 31, 2012

I would think that history might be higher on the list than calculus.  Understanding how fleeting much of the present is and which things endure are essential to adapting to change and making smart decisions in any business. 

 
Hadass Sheffer
on Sep 11, 2012

This is a great question, and a good article, but why limit students to six "must have" courses? Not surprisingly for Forbes, this list is heavily skewed toward business skills.  Now, some are transferable to any situation an adult might face, and so Forbes has a good point.  However, Colleges have already defined a core curriculum which includes a logic requirement, a math requirement, history, language, a science expository.  Build on those.  

The more intractible problem, in my opinion, is how to engage students, so that no matter what course they are taking, they are receiving the full potential of what college level learning brings: new knowledge, deeper insight into a broader sphere, curiousity about new ideas and openness to listening to them, critical thinking, time for reflection, organizing large quantities of data (qualitative or quantitative,) time management and performing under deadlines, communicating effectively with peers and faculty, navigating a complex system. 

 
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