Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hey. What about after college?

How much does your college education influence your job opportunities?

Like, really. Does it really mean that much? Everyone has a college education. It's not that big of a deal to get through college, and there are perfectly intelligent people that don't go through college because they can't pay for it. When you talk to successful people in high places and ask them how they got to be where they are, you never hear, "well, I tried really hard in college and just got this awesome job after I got my masters." It just never happens. What I've decided is that job opportunities are about 60% who you know and another 20% how much people like you.

You can learn on the job. No one goes to CEO training. You don't take a CFO class. You take general classes that apply to many scenarios in college, getting a background knowledge, and then they say, go get a job. Sure, you can get a basic, lowly job with strictly an education. But to get a once in a lifetime kinda position, it's things like being up to date on how well the Rangers are doing this year, being able to tell that joke at the appropriate time, knowing where the closest place to get a drink is. It's the life knowledge stuff. Sports stuff. Humor. Charisma.

Then once you have the job opportunity, there's the other important personality traits that you need to keep your job that also have nothing to do with college: being a hard worker. Getting shit done on time. Being on top of things. Sure, those classes from college are going to be the basis of whatever you're doing, but the things you need to for your specific job are going to be much narrower and much more specific and in depth. Getting those skills happens a little during classes, but I'm gonna guess lots of it happens on the job.

Am I saying ignore college? Not at all. It's important, especially now that most of us are here and paying for it. And it's a good place to practice all those traits like trying hard. What I'm saying is to keep college in perspective. There's only so much college can teach you. Who you know and what they think of you is, in my opinion, what is going to make the difference. Just like it did in middle school.
Aren't circles fun?


  1. the choices you make in college, however, will greatly affect the chances you have later on.

  2. I mostly agree.
    I am the exception to this though. It matters what I do in college. If I don't practice, I'll never get a gig.
    But yeah, its all about networking and who you know.
    Networking is especially important for me.