The reason behind getting a college education is getting a good job, right? Well, that’s what I used to think. But in my fourth year here, I’ve realized that UR isn’t that kind of college.

After completing the economics major, a concentration that many have told me was “practical,” or would give me lots of useful skills, I’m careening toward graduation with no idea what I’m doing afterwards. I hope it’ll be some kind of work. But the likelihood that I’ll get a job relating to anything I learned in my courses is small.

Economics is a useful subject, not to mention an interesting and enjoyable one, but a BA from UR does not have companies knocking down one’s door.

Don’t get me wrong ? UR is a great school. If your passion is research, and you love to learn, then you won’t find a better place.

But in retrospect, wanting a job after four years of college, I probably would have been better off studying somewhere else.

I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this. I remember hearing various deans and the president talk about why we were here. It started at Freshman Orientation. Learning here is an end, they told us. We’re here to have an academic experience, not to get a job.

They said it over and over, but it didn’t sink in. I must have thought it didn’t apply to me. My mind was stubbornly set on the belief that the purpose of going to college was to get training for a career. Old misconceptions die hard, I guess.

Other colleges have majors like marketing, business and journalism. Professional majors. Majors which provide training for jobs in the real world. At UR, there’s engineering. Everything else is completely academic.

I knew there were some majors that did not lead directly to careers. Philosophy seemed interesting when I took an introductory course my freshman year. But I didn’t want to spend four years learning something that would be useless to me when I entered the labor market. I didn’t realize that every major in the College of Arts and Sciences worked that way.

I don’t regret coming here. I’ve met a lot of great people and had a great time in my extracurricular activities. I’ve even enjoyed some of my classes. But I’ll graduate without the job skills I thought I was coming here to get.

If you’re at UR because you want to get a good job after graduation, then you’ve made a big mistake. And if it’s not too late, you should probably transfer as soon as you can.

Bock can be reached at dbock@campustimes.org.



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