READER REPORT:

University left me with debt and no skills

JOHN LAWRENCE
Last updated 09:30 12/12/2013

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It's three years since I graduated university with an accounting degree and I still don't know what they taught me.

Univerisities are proud to say they prepare students to work out in the real world. They don't.

I think all I learned was how to write academically. This is a skill, but not the only skill I needed. In fact, it was a skill I barely needed.

In the four years I studied I used accounting software for all of one hour. I did not even know the different kinds of software out there. In the world we currently live in, this is unacceptable.

In four years I didn't do a single group assignment. I wrote plenty of essays and sat plenty of exams but I never sat down with my classmates and produced a collaborated effort. In a world where we are constantly interacting with other people this is unacceptable.

My studies cost me $50,000 over four years and while I did get a job, I don't see that my degree provided any real benefit to the company apart from an inflated salary.

There are no complaints from my side regarding how having a degree has been of use in getting a job.

I have a lot of questions, however, regarding whether or not the study programme was well suited to the job I got. I had a huge knowledge of accounting concepts and no practical knowledge of what I would actually be doing.

When I began working, I could tell my friends what I was doing, but I had no idea how to actually do it.

I felt all at sea on my first days and my confidence seeped as I learned that not only did I not have the base knowledge required to excel, but I had no idea of what the day-to-day world of accounting was like.

Universities need to look at what their students need in their first years in the workplace and provide the knowledge that will really help them and their employers.

Conceptual knowledge is great in the research world (which, incidentally is a huge factor in the uni rankings) but they need to do what is best for their students. They are the ones paying the exorbitant fees after all.


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