College gets the degree not the job

by Marissa Ochoa, Staff Columnist

Most days it’s easy to find myself shuffling through papers, flipping through chapters and researching sources on the Internet while simultaneously trying to keep my thoughts on finishing up one assignment at a time. The busy work swarms my head for classes needed to get my bachelor’s degree. Education is no doubt important, but four years in school for a certificate that doesn’t guarantee a spot in any field of work hinders motivation.

This pushes me to question my time at San Diego State. What’s the point of a bachelor’s degree? If given the opportunity to work in my interests without school, I would take it in a heartbeat. So why spend four years in a classroom when one can spend that time gaining real world experience?

There’s the saying “Somethings you can’t learn in a classroom.” Unfortunately, what students can’t learn at school are the skills necessary to thrive in the workforce.

Classes are like training wheels. Students learn the foundation, but do they get to try riding without constant support?  No.

In simpler terms, it’s like the spider web effect. Information given to students through classrooms sit and fester in their heads until it becomes stale and eventually forgotten.

To students who can handle extracurricular activities such as a job and school organizations, I applaud them. It’s not easy, but unfortunately, that’s what it takes in order to become a competitive contender after graduation.

It has reached a point where bachelor’s degrees are just a standard procedure. It doesn’t automatically give somebody the skills needed to flourish in his or her career. Work experience, and trial and error are what make a person worth hiring. Yet students are forced to sit through classes requiring reading lists that won’t be remembered and exams that become a forgotten nightmare once finished.

Bachelor’s degrees have become nothing more than a certificate a number of employers simply gloss over.”

So the statistics classes I took and struggled with won’t matter in my field of work? What a slap in the face.

But there’s a silver lining for SDSU students. Career Services does what it can to help give students the networking opportunities some so desperately need.

“SDSU’s career services offer great events that can help students network within his or her interested field for future job offers,” Associate Director Sandra Williams said. “Get engaged. Get involved. When you get involved you might meet a network that can help you in your future endeavors.”

I couldn’t agree more. Getting involved at school is a great networking tool, but I’ve noticed in my past years that the valuable skills I’ve acquired, which I can take into my career, are skills learned from my extracurricular activities, not my classes. That’s where the problem lies.

Students sit through more than five classes each semester, earn a grade and are sent off to another semester of the same routine. In the end, students who wanted to focus on those classes are left with a shiny bachelor’s degree with no work experience and a puzzled look on their face when they can’t seem to land a job.

I’m not questioning SDSU as a campus. As a campus, there are many outlets where students can turn giving them the networking and skills necessary.

I’m questioning SDSU as an educational institution and the worth of sitting in classrooms for hours all to earn a degree, which more than likely won’t land a single dream job.

I would be lying if I said college was a waste of time. It’s not. However, to say I learned the skills I need for my future career sitting in a classroom would also be nothing more than a lie.