Time to get a job?

Given that I was a professor at both the college and university, my students were surprised when I did not always encourage further study after graduation. Sometimes I would say: “You’re ready. Get on with the rest of your life.”  Continue reading “Time to get a job?”

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How Will They Learn? (Team Work)

push_the_bullseye_400_clr_18524If the school system seems inadequate to the task of instilling problem solving skills surely they will do better at team building. All those young people in the same place with the same goals. It screams team work!

 Would it be fair to assume that in order to teach team skills the instructors must be team players? Since teachers and professors are products of the school system they will only succeed to the extent that the school system succeeded – well you can see the problem.

Continue reading “How Will They Learn? (Team Work)”

How Will They Learn? (Problem Solving)

question_mark_400_clrEmployers are frustrated because new employees are deficient in soft skills like problem solving, communication and team work.

Post-secondary promises to deliver these skills but is overwhelmed with both the technical aspects of the programs and the demand for breadth courses.

High schools are evaluated on how well students do on standardized testing. Accordingly, teachers have become increasingly focused on test scores. Continue reading “How Will They Learn? (Problem Solving)”

How will they learn?

boss_looking_over_work_1600_clrWe all wish that new employees had better soft skills. Employers agree that they can screen for the prerequisite technical knowledge. But soft skills, people skills, problem solving skills – those are tough. I know we agree because I have done research. You know because you see it every day.

You hired that promising new employee – Amanda. Her resume was a little light, but she was just starting out. Bit nervous in the interview but she’s young. Great academic record. Excellent grades, an award winner – you knew because she told you.

So what happened? Continue reading “How will they learn?”

An excellent accounting education

Excellence. That is the word of the day.

Here is my crack at educational excellence in the real world of a two-year college diploma.

[Insert college name] will provide a unique educational experience in which students will be required to demonstrate competency in areas that push their comfort level.

In addition to core critical topics such as financial accounting and tax, students will be required to develop the skills necessary to examine problems, make recommendations and present a compelling argument – both on paper and to an audience. Students will use common work place tools, including Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, the Internet, tax software and accounting software to deliver results.

Job ready skills such as time management, working in teams and personal responsibility will be ingrained in courses and evaluated along with technical skills.

On successful completion of the program students will be ready to assume the responsibilities associated with jobs in the public sector, industry and public practice. The program also lays the groundwork for continuing education, either through professional organizations or through universities.

To deliver this program, the college would need to do two things. The first is to firmly believe that their primary purpose is to prepare students for the workplace. That has been our traditional role and it is valuable and desirable. The second is to be willing to re-examine the methodology of delivery and evaluation. Real life training does not compartmentalize well. In other words, we have to be innovative and find ways to blur the fifteen week, individual course lines.

But a clear statement of intention isn’t a bad place to start.