The Problem with Canadian Education
In the run up to the launch of the TalentEgg.ca main site, I’ve been doing a lot of off-line bragging about the value of Canadian undergrads with degrees in Arts and Sciences- you know, the people who often get overlooked by on-campus recruiters.
I generally believe that people that come out of university with degrees in politics, economics, philosophy, biology, etc, come out of university equipped with analytical skills, which make them ideal ‘entry-level’ candidates for good jobs with lots of opportunity for development.
The problem is, employers in Canada- many of whom are receiving thousands of resumes from students and new-grads looking for an opportunity- are more likely to look for specific skills and education than the almighty, queen of ‘traits’…: potential.
This isn’t as much of a problem in the U.K., where students with degrees in philosophy are routinely recruited into accounting firms.
So, why the big difference? There are a few reasons, but one of the less obvious ones is something I’m going to call demonstrated commitment.
In Canada, students in high-school take lots of different courses. Many enter Arts (Social Sciences or Humanities) programs, and take lots of different courses again in their first year in order to choose a ‘major’ and sometimes a ‘minor’ that they will focus on (but not completely) for the following 3 years.
In the U.K., students at the age of 16 commit to three main subjects for their ‘A-levels’, and when they’re 18 and enter university, they pick one of these subjects and focus on it for their 3 year undergraduate education.
Students in the U.K. can show employers demonstrated commitment– a very employable trait, don’t you think?