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Austin Business Schools and Why a 4 Year Educations Are a Waste of Time
Ok, our prior statement may not be entirely true. The truth is that different programs match different personalities. Unfortunately, Austin schools are following the lead of business schools nationwide rather than matching their student’s needs.
To some extent, business schools are becoming irrelevant because they aren’t teaching students what they need to know about business. This leads to students earning undergraduate degrees, but leaving with no hard business skills. Allow us to explain further.
Working in Groups vs. On-the-Job Training Four-year business schools heavily rely on group work when teaching undergraduates. We all probably remember working on a group project, and sometimes it was beneficial. Other times group projects were a pain. One student would elect himself leader and often everyone was too lazy, or sheepish, to disagree. Professors at business schools think preparing students for the real world means preparing them to work in groups, following the logic is that you will learn how to communicate better.
However, working in groups excessively allows students stay within their comfort zones and delegate the rest of the work away. Vocational business schools also rely on group work, but in a different away. They are focused on preparing students for the business world via practical experience and skill development. This type of on-the-job training teaches students not only how to work in a group, but also how to effectively do the work they’ll do every day.
Business Majors Waste Two Years Business majors don’t focus on business courses their first two years in business school; instead they’re taking courses unrelated to business. At a vocational business school, you have two years of strictly business courses which cover both foundational and specialized skill sets. By the time you’ve finished your vocational business major, students in business schools are just getting started. You’ll receive training that directly helps you get and succeed at your career.
The rest is up to you: both as your career proceeds and as you find topics that individually interest you. 4 year business college is focused on giving you general knowledge, where career schools are focused on helping you get paid.
Academic vs. Practical Business Education Business schools are all about academics. Students learn how to become a team player on tests and in groups. Often grades are measured by how well students can repeat lessons on a test, which many experts believe is a poor predictor of success. Unfortunately, students are then left with one or two semesters of work experience. Students are left to seek job experience during the summer, outside of their career path, and not for college credit.
The truth is that academics isn’t the only thing that matters. Business employers’ sole focus isn’t how much you know, but how well you can do the job. Business degrees at vocational schools are often overlooked by students because of the popularity, and prestige, of 4 year colleges. They forget that vocational schools, which are often referred to as trade schools, are post-secondary educational institutions too.
They follow a holistic approach to teaching practical business skills and, admittedly, leave the theoretical stuff to the student or their employer. But they’re not alone in this attitude. In fact, many of the most successful businesspeople describe a four-year business college in a different way too. According to Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, “At one time, college was an investment. Today, it’s become indentured servitude.” There is obvious value to college, but it’s important to note that this is not the only way to see career success.
Peter Thiel, the silicon valley investor and the entrepreneur responsible for PayPal, also has something to say about this. “By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse resume to prepare for a completely knowable future. Come what may, he’s ready—for nothing in particular.”
This is less than ideal because a four-year business student’s ultimate goal is to jump into the business world as quickly and effectively as possible. So, if you’re thinking about going to an Austin business school you may want to think again. The right move may or may not be to attend a vocational school, but it would be foolish to completely ignore it as an option.