According to Dave Evans from Stanford Design School (yes this is another Thinking Digital story) after five years, eighty percent of people who went to university aren’t working in the area that they studied. All that time and effort potentially wasted on what seems inappropriately focussed attention.
I wonder why this is and if it really matters. The world is still working (to a point) and it is true that these people must be doing something else.
I studied zoology, a choice that was not exactly pregnant with career opportunities. People would ask me ‘What are you going to do, work in a zoo?’ to which I replied ‘They’re all animals.’ In truth I don’t think I ever went to university with thoughts of a specific job in mind. I had hoped to get a good job, as most people who went to university did at that time, yet it was more the interest in the subject that lead me down that path.
Forty years later on and I have very little interest in the subject I studied. I am still interested in human evolution and the way people interact in society but I am glad that I did not end up in a pure Zoology related job. I guess that people change, I am certainly not the person I was when I was twenty one, time, experience and responsibility have all taken their toll, for bad and for good.
To be honest, I have learned more during my time at work than during the years of my formal education. It is not that I don’t appreciate the opportunities I had at school and university but rather that that was one time and this is now.
In my view schools should focus on teaching you one thing – the love of learning, while universities should focus on helping you to develop your learning skills. What you choose to study and what you go on to have your career in seem less relevant. At least for eight out of ten of us.