Thursday, June 21, 2012

Training, Colleges and Universities

I have spent a lot of time in school. Like, a lot. Something that has always seemed bizarre to me is the idea that university is supposed to be some kind of job training program. Anyway, some guy has written a book about it. He gave an interview to IEEE Spectrum and gave this brilliant analogy:
They keep hoping that the engineering schools will turn out what they want, but it’s kind of bizarre if you think about it: if you were, say, a computer company, and you had a product that was all based on this particular chip. You didn’t build the chip yourself. You were expecting to buy it on the outside, and your expectation was just that you’ll be able, as soon as you’re ready, to buy this chip on the outside in the quantity you want at the price you want to pay. 
The point is: go to university because you want to learn and you want to surround yourself with other people who want to learn, not because you want a job.  You will, hopefully, come out of it a better person, probably with some debt,  but with a good head on your shoulders. Find a job that has nothing to do with your 4th year thesis. Because there probably isn't one. Good companies will still hire people who are going to be good workers, even if they're not the exact right fit.

And frankly, do you even want to work for the kind of company who thinks it's reasonable to build and entire product around the assumption that someone else will build the key component exactly to spec and for free?

No comments: