In the post below, I talk about some of the achievements of Facebook superstar Mark Zuckerberg. He had a revolutionary idea and manifested it into reality. He is a modern-day hero. Like Bill Gates, or the Google brats, as they are sometimes called, college dropout Zuckerberg won’t miss any meals any time soon. For extraordinarily talented visionaries like Zuckerberg and Gates, college may not be necessary.
But what about the rest of us average people? Folks who can’t hit a 96-mile-per-hour fast ball, or conceive and program a revolutionary social media site, or sing like Jennifer Nettles, or dance like Maksim or Edyta? For us, college is a pretty good start.
More With Les frequently discusses careers in communication/PR/IMC. We discuss how to get jobs, keep jobs, and be successful on the job. I am blessed with many wise and experienced contributors to MWL whose comments make this blog a textbook of helpful, practical tips for anyone who wishes to succeed, student and practitioner alike.
But what about college? I favor applied course work, that is, study that has a practical nature to it, rather than only theoretical. I teach principles that can be applied to solve problems that working professionals experience all the time. I draw heavily on my 35 years as a practitioner. To me, college is where a person can explore career options, pick one, and learn how to do it. The purpose is to learn skills that will feed, house, and clothe you and your family throughout your life.
But nowadays, a college degree is but an entry fee, a basic requirement to get you in the game. Graduate school is helpful in providing you with a competitive advantage. So is accreditation from IABC or PRSA, but earning those designations requires years of on-the-job training and real world experience.
In each semester, I see some senior burn out as students get closer to graduation. They simply are ready for a change, yet are fearful of what lies ahead. I can easily understand this. But each college course may be an essential building block to a successful career. You have to tough it out and do the best you can in every course. Because next, you will start your working career, and that runs to retirement for most of us, unless you win a lottery.
My advice to students is to build equity now, in every class in every subject. When you graduate, join IABC and PRSA and go to professional development offerings and continue learning. Prepare yourself. Arm yourself with knowledge, and be your own hero.