Summer school is officially in session. I always find myself extremely excited to start a new course on the journey to my Master’s Degree. Normally I go out and buy a lot of new pens, even though this is an online based course. I pick out my new notebook, the paper is one thing I am really OCD about, if there is one fold or tear, I’ll rewrite the entire page. Then I’ll print out all of my assignments to get a head start. I’m sure you can imagine the number of pens I have in my office.
I began my program in July 2015, I have 4 more courses (including the one starting today) until I finish my degree. The one major problem I’ve noticed is a primary absence of the experience all employers are looking for in any career. Let me explain exactly what I mean.
- Papers – Papers Everywhere! Yes, I know how to format a paper in APA, but in a year and some change of working in HR, I’ve never had to write a real paper. I’ve had to write out responses to lawyers, decline job offers, write out unemployment claim denials, etc. I’m not saying I will never have to write a paper in my career, but I don’t think that is where the primary focus should be. Give me examples on writing to lawyers, federal agencies, bring real life examples into the teachings.
- Discussion Questions – I like this area, it allows the students to come together and answer questions and have conversations. But I don’t think the questions are really relevant to today’s world of HR.
- Social Media – I have yet to have a class that tells me to get involved in the social media world of HR. I understand everyone doesn’t like social media, but seriously 8 of 12 courses, and not a mention in 1? I don’t know about my fellow students, but in this age of social media, I think the instructors are not reaching out of the classroom enough to expose their students to more.
- SHRM – this is because I’m in HR, but whatever your career choice is, your school should give you every opportunity to explore the organizations that are created for that field. I’ve read all of the syllabuses I will have courses for, only one of them, the very LAST course I will take, requires students to become members of SHRM. This is an HR degree, and the very last course is the only one that actually mentions SHRM?
Give me experiences that I can take into the workplace, not just another topic to write a paper on. Give me topics to research that are relevant to the advances happening today. Give me different forms of media to reach out and learn more than what I’ll get just reading a book. Teach me subject matters that will help me obtain my certification in HR.
Breaking into HR is a difficult task and it’s time for the education system to step in and give real life experiences to the students that are paying thousands of dollars. I have a mound of student loans that I have to pay back and no exact plan on how to get it done. If I’m spending all of this money to obtain a degree, I should know that I received the education that will help me have all of the experiences my field wants entry level career seekers to have.
I’m not here to place the blame on instructors or universities/colleges. As students we should be reaching out to obtain these experiences as well and not waiting for information to fall in our laps.
Do you think education is playing a big enough role for the HR newcomers?
Until Next Time …
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