There is Life After College by Jeffrey J. Selingo

“Our twentieth-century education system is woefully out of sync with this twenty-first century economy that demands highly knowledgeable and flexible workers.” This quote from the introduction of Life After College perfectly sums up the entire book. To simplify this quote, education is woefully out of sync.

When I graduated college Myspace was the reigning champion in social media. Facebook, at the time, was a hobby or diversion for a few college students. Today, Myspace is a memory and Facebook dominates not just social media but our entire online experience. Rapid technological innovations and global market change everything we know almost constantly. Businesses and organizations cannot keep up. Education, from kindergarten to graduate schools, lag behind even farther.

Life After College is really about promoting education outside of college. Selingo introduces the reader to the importance of gap years, bridge programs, on-the-job training, internships, geographic advantages and so forth.

College is not the final straw anymore. It may be a very important straw, but it is not the final one. Gone are the days when simply getting a college degree guarantees you economic stability. With a growing number on college graduates and competition from people around the world, a college graduate needs to show up with more than a fancy diploma. “What you do in college is more important that where you go to college” (215).

I enjoyed this book a lot. Selingo knows his stuff and his writing is impeccable. I’m not fan of gap years and bridge programs that are highlighted in the book. I think these programs only highlight the change needed in higher education. Additionally, I am not a supporter of gap years because I know without a doubt that a gap year would have been detrimental for me. Delaying formal education would have been a bad idea for me. Even though I changed my major three times in college and my career goals a dozen times, college still gave me the structure and space I needed to succeed. Having said that, college may not be ideal for everyone and I understand that.

My favorite piece in the book is the chapter on employers. Usually we hear about how employers are frustrated at their new hirers, so it was great to hear how employers are also lost and unprepared.

I am always disappointed when I read about students choosing a college or a career and there is very little discussion about passion or higher calling. Finding a job that pays well is important, but finding a job that employs your strengths, empowers your soul, and inspires your passion is absolutely vital. That is why I really enjoyed the final chapter on telling your career story.

This is a great book with amazing information and I highly recommend.

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