Sunday, 17 February 2013

College: How relevant is what we're learning?

With exams finally over I'm once again able to leave the house and enjoy the sunshine, that is until I get my results. If these exams were in English I'm sure they would have been fine but having to do them Spanish made them quite hard,but what I was really shocked by was the content of what I was actually learning.

Anybody who did Leaving Certificate business in secondary school will forever know Maslow's hierarchy of needs as I'm sure just like me, it was drilled into them when they were 16/17 years old. I was pleasantly surprised but also a bit flabbergasted that this was included in not one, but two of the modules I took this semester! Along with this I 'learnt' about management theories such as X and Y and also the basic functions and skills of a manager. Now although I was glad this was on the test as it is stuff I have known about from 5 years ago, I was slightly appalled that this is what they are still teaching 3rd year business students in modern day Universities.

I was very amused reading through the ancient book we were given on marketing, to find slightly outdated info on the 4 p's of marketing. In one of Brian Solis' latest posts he discusses the fifth and sixth p's of marketing. In this new age of easy interaction between consumers, manufacturers and retailers these concepts seem to be completely outdated.

What bothered me the most was the lack of content about the latest changes to the marketing and business world, the internet. I don't even try to understand how it works, but I love the internet and what it has done to the world, and the emergence of social media platforms has completely changed the way people communicate forever. However, out of all the classes I took, some to do with marketing, some about how to make sales, only one chapter mentioned how to use sites such as Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn to improve your business. I think this is shocking and needs to be looked at, not only is it not preparing students for what is an important part of today's business', but it is also making them question the other things they are studying. Now I'm also not sure about how relevant spending time in class learning how to write a memo is, but first and foremost I believe the stuff Universities are teaching really need to be looked into on a much more regular basis than it perhaps is at the moment.

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