University education alone is no guarantee of success in life


This week, the students received their admission to college after proving that they were capable of achieving high marks. Year after year, I watch with dismay parents, students and the media obsessed with student achievement.

Some sacrifice their health or integrity to join the cult of perfectionism, believing that the best grades are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers. Many believe that the best grades are a reflection of their intelligence and willpower – proof that they have what it takes to be successful. There is everything wrong with that thought.

The proof is clear: academic excellence is not a predictor of professional success. In various disciplines, research has shown that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and insignificant after a few years.

For example, once employees have finished college for two or three years, their grades no longer affect their performance. (Of course, it must be said that if you got Ds, you probably didn’t end up in a prestigious company). The most important point to stress is that academic grades do not predict essential skills such as creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence.

This is because A-level students often master cramming information and regurgitating it during exams, because that is how exams are designed. However, professional success is never about finding the right solution to a problem, but rather finding the right problem to solve. In the world of work, people who pay attention to their curiosity and prioritize activities they find intrinsically motivating – which ultimately serve them well in their careers – quickly get a head start.

Getting ‘A’s requires compliance

Having an influential career requires originality. If your goal is to get your degree unblemished on your transcript, you’ll end up taking easier classes and staying in your comfort zone. If you are willing to put up with the occasional B’s, you can rely on less-than-easy programs that not only allow you to gain technical knowledge, but also gain experience in dealing with setbacks and setbacks, which strengthens your resilience.

Grades may seem necessary if one accepts the premise that one of the goals of education is to eliminate winners and losers, and move on to the next level of education. Yet, actual aptitude assessments demand more from students. Rigor in education is not about being told how well you have done, but knowing what you need to do next to improve yourself.

Prioritizing learning over grades is the key to success. When students enjoy learning, they are intrinsically motivated to study and engage in what they are learning. They work hard and understand the value of diligence, persistence, and commitment to what they learn.

And in the face of setbacks or disappointments, they remain resilient and able to seize those setbacks as an opportunity for further learning and growth. Finding good grades is a limited effort (it ends when the results arrive), but the love of learning can – and usually does – last a lifetime. The benefits of a love of learning carry over into adulthood, college, work, social life, and at home.

This is why motivation – not innate ability – is the key to success not only in school but also in life. This type of learning is a privilege, it is centered on the appreciation of the world, the understanding of oneself and of others; a skill called emotional intelligence that we should value and appreciate.

Pursuing the love of learning from an early age and outside of school and encouraging students to pursue their interests and passions, rather than choosing subjects in which they are naturally good, is one way to broaden their skills. capabilities. It is important to reduce the pressure of academic grades but to maintain high expectations to support the motivation of students to learn and to develop their self-esteem by focusing on finding value in the process, rather than on the result, of all the efforts of the students, both academic and social.

For those entering college, remember that a different kind of ability is needed to be successful. Deferred gratification is a predictor of future success. People who are able to pay the price today and delay the rewards are much more likely to be successful in life.

Sadly, we have become a nation in search of instant gratification. It manifests in our daily lives in the foods we choose to eat, the buy now-pay later lifestyle, our difficulty in adhering to an exercise program and putting mindless entertainment ahead of personal development. If new students entering college choose to focus on these nuanced skills, it’s likely that even their grades will improve.

But even where there are links between academic and professional success, there are still notable gaps. For example, ratings do not measure leadership or risk appetite, two traits essential to professional success at the highest level. Additionally, grades are not an indicator of emotional intelligence or interpersonal skills like networking. It would be difficult to go far in a career without these essential skills.

Characters vs. Notes

It is undeniable that grades are important for college admission, however, character traits such as courage, curiosity, teamwork, oral communication, and creativity are non-cognitive abilities that cannot be denied. are not tested and reflected in report cards. They are not only useful for solving converging problems, but also for dealing with the entirety of divergent problems and solutions in the real world.

In the classroom, success is determined by the student’s ability to provide the correct answer. In the real world, the solutions are not so clear and they come from all different places. The answers to real-world problems are more divergent. There are thousands of solutions.

Students must therefore have a certain level of cognitive intelligence and a capacity for learning. Obviously, good grades signal this ability, but success demands a lot more. Success requires the ability to communicate complex ideas to a diverse team of people, relentlessly seek solutions, and explore possibilities beyond current knowledge.

Boys too, need decent panties

Today, two graduates – a woman and the other man – with similar qualifications may not have the same chances of getting a job.


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