It perhaps even dates all the way back to the basic schooling days, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who sometimes sat in class and asked myself what on earth what we’re being made to learn about has to do with anything really. The question becomes an even more pressing one when you’re in college because that’s when and where you’re learning about a field you’re aiming to be an expert specialist in, so it’s a bit concerning not being able to make the link between what you’re being made to learn and how that could possibly translate into what you’ll be doing once you’re qualified.
The truth is most of the stuff you learn about in varsity isn’t really anything you’re going to use directly. What you’re learning is how to learn, if you know what I mean. You’ll mostly be subjected to decision-making problems in the workplace and the process of having learned how best to make those decisions is essentially what attending college was all about.
This applies across the board, even in the highly specialised fields of engineering. That’s why during the first and into the second years of any engineering degree course, the students who are enrolled in different fields of engineering basically do the same modules. They’re learning the basics and getting the core fundamentals of what it means to be an engineer, while the knowledge they’ll actually be applying is basically a repetition of a selection of topics they’ve perhaps already covered while going through their basic schooling.
That’s why when you apply to enrol in an engineering course, you are required to have done mathematics at school, in the same way that other fields of study have their own prerequisite subjects for enrolment.
The true value of college course material reveals itself in the most unlikely of circumstances though, such as when one zones in on what it takes to organise a prestigious event such as the upcoming Cheltenham Festival 2017. How many industries and fields are at play here? Perhaps every single one that is covered in college degree courses spanning every single faculty.
There’s the engineering bit, which assumes the form of what it took to plan and construct the venue at which the event will be held, then there’s even more engineering in the form of the software platforms used to operate the online betting platforms of the various betting houses that will be featuring wagers for the event.
Mathematical and financial statistics comes into play as well with regards to analysing and working out the odds of the races which form part of the event, the winnings ratios, etc. Then there’s the marketing bit which bids to draw in the crowds to patronise this prestigious annual event…
All of a sudden you can perhaps go right back to pin-point exactly what it is you learned which relates to an event of this magnitude, bringing into view just how important the process of learning was as opposed to an explicit focus on what you were made to learn.
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