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The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Opinion: Students should balance learning and career pursuit

Ryan Scott

Ryan Scott I originally came to this school as a communications major. I did not care about money, I just wanted to do what I liked.

I quickly realized, however, I was making a mistake by doing that. When a handful of professors begin the semester with a warning about how dismal your current career path is, you learn to take the hint and look at another major.

At a certain point, I had to realize a large pizza did a better job at feeding a family of four than a communications major.
I am now a computer science major, and I feel it is a great fit. I’ll be the first to admit, though, a huge factor in me switching to this major was the fact that I’d have a pretty good shot at getting a good job.

This past Saturday, the News and Observer reported the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions is meeting to deal with the issue of helping students prepare themselves for a future career, while still making college an intellectual experience.

Back in March, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported student loan debt had surpassed credit card debt, and amounted to $870 billion.

This is a tough issue to tackle. On one hand you could say with student loans being such an issue for college graduates, universities must focus on helping students deal with the debts they gave them.

On the other hand, reducing college to a funnel to a better job takes away a huge part of the experience.

At a recent community forum at UNC-Chapel Hill, María DeGuzmán, professor of English and comparative literature, stated she believed a fixation on jobs, however, would lead to a forsaking of the liberal arts.

“Reducing university education to, quote, getting a job,” DeGuzmán said, “is to capitulate to the worst sort of – as William Faulkner would have said – jobism.”

Thinking about it more, while computer science gives me a higher chance at a good job, the few communications courses I took taught me vital life skills I would never learn in the sciences.

College should not be boiled down to a straight line to a good job. If that’s how you treat it, you’re missing out on so much.

I realize I’m a tad late for some of you, but with this being the time of class registration, I suggest picking up an extra class simply for the sake of learning.

I sound incredibly cliche, I know, but college is the last time of your life where your main priority is to just learn.

Let’s make the most of it.

Scott, a sophomore computer science major from Huntersville, is an opinion writer.

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