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Does College Prepare Students for the Real World? [AUDIO]

College is supposed to be the time when young people prepare themselves for future careers, but increasingly students feel, even with an internship, they are not prepared to enter the workforce.

College classroom
Flickr User velkr0

The study, conducted by Millennial Branding, surveyed 1,345 college students from across the country, and found even with a diploma and internship, a quarter of students say they’re not ready for the job market.

With young adults facing unemployment rates of over 13 percent, students do not even have the confidence in their bachelor’s degree like they once used to according to the survey.

“It’s probably equivalent to what a high school [diploma] is,” notes one student at Rutgers University. He pointed out while degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields could help job seekers, liberal arts fields carry a stigma of being easy.

While numerous students see their diplomas not carry the same weight they used to, they still feel bound to get them.

“You have to get a bachelor’s degree and now they’re saying you have to go to graduate school or above to excel.”

However, internships don’t always prove to be a practical application of what students learn in the classroom.

How Valuable are Internships?

“The things that you’re learning in classes is far more complex than what you do at an internship,” pointed out one Rutgers student prepping to take her LSATs. “My experience was to walk around the city and send emails, so I don’t have job experience yet.”

Another student says going into their first internship doing pricing and billing, what was required of them was taught right then and there.

“You get a job and you realize and it doesn’t come from what you were taught in class but you can learn everything that you need to in one or two days if someone teaches you on the spot.”

A previous survey done by Millennial Branding found 91 percent of employers who responded said the past six months and the majority of the companies said they hired no more than 30 percent of their interns for full time jobs. 87 percent said the internships they did offer were even shorter than they would have preferred for their own candidates. Numerous students recognize, getting an internship is less about finding a place to work, and more like taking another class.

“It doesn’t always help you as much to get your first job,” said one RU student. “I think it helps you more to understand what you do or don’t want. I think it helps companies more than students.”

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