Being in the final semester of my university education has encouraged me to recognize how strongly young individuals in contemporary society are pressured to attend a university institution.
While I acknowledge that this pressure is likely a result of a the rising competition existing within the job market, it does not mean that it is realistic. A university education is by no means a minimal accomplishment, however I do not feel as though it encompasses all of the requirements a person needs prior to applying for a job.
Unless a university program offers a placement position or a co-op program, it curriculum fails to expose students to the hands-on learning of a specific occupation. I will be finished my undergraduate degree this coming April, however I do not feel as though I am ready to begin working in a full-time occupation because I do not believe I have had enough practical learning to prepare me for the working world. This is my personal opinion, but I would argue that a fair number of university students in my position would agree with me.
The pressure to enrol in university begins already in grade twelve when students are a mere seventeen or eighteen years of age. Considering grade thirteen is no longer an academic requirement in Canadian high schools, students completing their grade twelve education are incredibly young, though are expected to have a comprehension of the sort of work they wish to pursue for the remainder of their lives. I find this expectation to be incredibly unrealistic. I also find it problematic that students are pressured so strongly to attend university, but the same pressure is not affiliated with college institutions. College is a fantastic post-secondary educational path to follow, and it exposes students to practical skills and valuable, hands-on learning that is often not available in university. I plan to attend college once I have completed my university education in order to gain a better understanding of what I wish to do with my university education, and a lot of students are doing the same.
I strongly believe that there needs to be more positive encouragement of college amongst students today. College, for whatever reason, is socially considered to be inferior to university in terms of the education offered, and I find this to be incredibly detrimental for students who learn more efficiently through hands-on learning.