Our education should be on par with present challenges

Considering that several industries are not enthusiastic about the new tide of graduates, maybe we are missing something. |Benz De Marshall Pierre, PantherNOW

Benz De Marshall Pierre| Staff Writer

The state of US higher education should cause us to pause and meditate about the level of preparedness of young graduates. At a time where the world faces all kinds of relentless challenges, educators and policymakers alike should start investing massively in offering practical education.

I am someone who usually cancels out the noise people make about the current shape of the US education system, but the magnitude of the issue caused me to ponder about a few things. 

A finding by the Gallup Poll is quite concerning. The study found that the US education system is lacking in several respects and that’s partly because higher ed is failing to give training relevant to the needs of the job market. This is echoed throughout most industries, with lack of ethics being the major complaint. 

As a political science major, I must admit that I am sometimes anxious of what the prospects will look like after graduation. Students are taught for four years about the basics of succeeding in an academic environment, whether it’s how to write impactful essays or doing research projects.

With this in mind, it’s easy to be left with the feeling that you don’t know much. You might even question how marketable your skills are.  

Considering that several industries are not enthusiastic about the new tide of graduates, maybe we are missing something. 

I am not speaking of majors such as finance, economics or nursing, as these will always be in very high demand. But those who may have chosen a different path may have to wrestle more than others.

The solution is not to undervalue some degrees that may not ensure a lucrative salary relative to others, as we might think. 

A solution might be to have an education reform with the aim of creating several programs catered to some college degrees. These programs would supplement the theoretical education we have received by training college students in some key areas to ensure success at the workplace.

The conventional answer to this is that we just need to find an internship tailored to our degrees as a stepping stone to a professional career in our desired field. 

Both workshops and internships are becoming increasingly crucial to our future job prospects, which provides vital exposure to a field of interest. 

But what about the full-time students who also have to work? It’s difficult to spare the time to enroll for one or the other while being torn by personal commitments and mountainous school assignments.

It is an immense sacrifice to not only stay committed to one’s job while also interning in an industry that offers little to no pay- not everyone has that luxury. 

A remedy to this might be to incorporate some key courses aimed at teaching these skills into the college curriculum. 

FIU’s 21st Century Skills is a step in the right direction. It’s a remarkable enterprise that recognizes the highly competitive nature of the workforce in the 21st century, and aims to impart training that makes the student stand out. 

It focuses on 3 key skills, artificial intelligence, data literacy and emotional intelligence. In a world where AI has made important strides, and where we are bombarded with information, those who can stay on top of these trends will certainly have an advantage in the workforce. 

Laments against GenZ are quite high, and some of them do have some foundations. But if nothing is done to reverse this fall, we may be losing a critical tool of American economic greatness, that is a competent workforce. 

The world is moving very fast, and those who lag behind may suffer stunning defeats in several ways. A proactive policy relating to these things needs to be the norm sooner than later. 

These policies would benefit students and allow graduates to have a high sense of confidence in what they know when it comes to contributing to the country as a whole. 

Though education alone does not guarantee change, it sure is a powerful tool that can help bring the change to better prepare our graduates when entering the workforce.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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