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Your best defense is a good education

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | January 26th, 2009

Staying in school during the current economical breakdown may just be what students need.

Research indicates the importance of a post-secondary education for individuals who want to succeed in their chosen professions despite our present economy.

“School is a great place to be in the presence of economic instability,” said Mike Tucker, a Professor at Fanshawe College from the Kinlin School of Business and Management. “While in college, students are learning and honing relevant and differentiating skills that will make them appealing to prospective employers as limited opportunities arise.“

In the current global economy, employers are going to be looking for those who can keep up with the technological changes, according to Tucker.

“Many students will find that in addition to becoming experts in their chosen field of studies… changes to their occupation will likely require future training to remain current and relevant.”

Students stay in school and seek a post-secondary education are said to beat out their employable competition in the future.

According to Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc. when evaluating the skills of potential new hires, business executives place the greatest emphasis on 1) team work skills, 2) critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills and 3) communications skills.

With the stockmarket heading south and shaky borrowing numbers it is hard to predict exactly what students alike are going to be faced with next. Whether still in school or preparing for graduation, the time to get just the perfect job has never seen so much competition.

“There is plenty of doom and gloom as it pertains to the general media treatment of the economic slowdown,” Tucker said. “Optimists generally think that the worst of the economic contraction will take place in the first half of 2009 with a slowing of negative growth in the last half of 2009 and followed by an extremely slow recovery process beginning in 2010.

Although, Tucker also said that a pessimists outlook on the economy would see negative growth continuing for another 18-24 months before any indications of recovery.

Still there could be no better advice for students then to stay focused and on track with what you plan to do after you leave college. It is easy to get discouraged and fall off track when it appears there is not much hope thanks to the fate of our current economy.

College is a time of discovery and exploring your options, and students should partake in everything their school offers.

“In addition to embracing course content and learning their program to the best of their abilities — students should take advantage of the extracurricular opportunities that the College provides,” said Tucker, who recommends students join clubs like the Fanshawe Chapter of Toastmasters, which gives students a chance to meet new people and brush up on their public speaking skills.

“In my humble opinion the severity of any economic downturn can be directly linked to the overall mood of businesses and consumers that make up that economy…It is very easy for a student to develop a negative attitude — defeatist if you will,” added Tucker.

“My advice to all is control what you can control. While you are in school — fulfill the requirements of your program to the best of your abilities. Accept the fact that upon graduation employment opportunities may be limited. Learn your chosen career and at the same time learn how to market yourself to give you that edge over the rest of the applicants vying for the role you are competing for.”
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