If your friend has opportunities to choose majors as follows: 1) A major that is short for student to complete their study and students can get their jobs (working full-time) sooner 2) A major that requires much more time but students can be given better opportunities and job offers after they graduate. which major would you suggest your friend to choose?【2017.9.9】

快专业好还是慢专业好?

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There are many different considerations when young people are trying to decide on a major to pursue. While some speed-up programs allow students to graduate sooner, other majors require students to put in more time with the promise of better career prospects. If my friend is in such dilemma, I’d suggest him/her going for a major that takes less time to complete. 

 

The most obvious benefit would be time efficiency. Sure, I’m not saying learning should be rushed. Of course, growth takes time. But I don’t think merely staying in school for longer equals to real growth. The truth is some learning takes place off campus. So the sooner they graduate, the more time they can get to acquire skills in the workplace. Plus, people tend to procrastinate when they think they’ve got plenty of time. As Parkinson’s Law goes, work expands to fill the time you allot to it. For example, if a paper is due in three months, students usually wait till the last minute to start writing, even though they could have focused to get it done in two hours. So by setting tight deadlines and time limits, student can stay productive and achieve more.

 

Second, extra years spent in education can paradoxically put one at a disadantage in workplace. It has been commonly said that staying in school longer means higher earnings later on. This might be true if it’s a college degree versus a high school diploma that we’re talking about. But there isn’t much difference when both programs in question are of higher education. So in this case, working experience can be a bigger decider in terms of job prospects. Let’s say two friends pick different majors and one graduates two years ahead of another. Then two years later, while one person would have been handling major responsibilities for a big company, the other one would just leave school and take an entry-level position. It is because less work experience at the start of one’s career can make it harder to compete against older workers.

 

Sure, more school time may come with certain benefits. I know some longer programs offer pretty good learning experience and internship opportunities. If one is really into certain major, even if it takes longer than expected, it would be worth it. But let’s face it, many people choose to stay in school longer simply as a kind of buffer. They fear the rejection in job interviews. They shun the harsh reality. They try to convince themselves that I could score a better job offer if I learn more in school. But the truth is, the real lessons about work ethics cannot be learnt in school. The longer they wait, the less likely they are going to adapt to their future careers.

 

To sum up, for the sake of time efficiency and career success, I think my friend should give speed-up programs a shot. (Baolei)

译文:

当年轻人要尝试决定选什么专业的时候,有很多不同的考虑因素。有些速成专业能让学生更快毕业,但其他专业则需要学生投入更多时间,有望能获得更好的职业前景。如果我的朋友身处这样的抉择中,我会建议他/她选择需要更少时间完成的专业。

 

 

最明显的好处就是高效性。当然我也不是说学习要匆匆完成。成长自然是需要时间的。但是我不觉得在学校呆更久就等于真正的成长。事实上,有些学习实在校外实现的。所以他们越早毕业,他们就能获得越多的时间在职场上习得技能。而且,当人们觉得自己还有的是时间时就容易拖延。正如帕金森理论所说的那样,工作会膨胀以至于填满你分配给它的所有时间。比方说,如果一篇论文老师要求三个月后交,学生常常会拖到最后一刻才开始写,虽然他们本可以集中注意力两个小时就能完成的。所以通过设定更紧密的时间表和时间期限,学生能更高效且更高能。

 

其次,多读几年书反而会让人在职场上处于劣势。人们普遍认为在学校呆更久意味着以后能有更高的薪水。如果我们所说的是大学学位与高中文凭相比的话,那么或许是这样。但如果两个谈论的项目都是高等教育,那就差别就不大了。这时候,工作经验才是决定职场前景 更重要的因素。比方说两个朋友选择了这样两种不同的专业,一个比另一个提前两年毕业。两年后,一个人可能已经在一家大公司身居要职,而另一个人刚毕业,却只能做最底层的(入门的)职位。这是因为刚入职场的经验不足使人很难和老员工竞争 。

 

 

当然,更多的学习时间也是有它的好处的。我知道有一些时间久的项目给学生提供不错的学习氛围以及实习机会。如果一个人真的喜欢这个专业,即便耗时久,也是值得的。但是说实在的,很多人现在选择在学校呆更久是想作为一种缓冲。他们害怕在求职中遭拒,他们想要逃避现实的残酷,他们幻想在学校学的越久,就越有可能找到一份美差。但事实上,关于工作真正的经验教训不是在学校能获得的。他们等的越久,就越难适应到未来职场中。总结一下,考虑到时间成本和职场前景,我会建议我的朋友尝试一下能快速毕业的项目。

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