UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 26, 2024

Students determine their own preparedness

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There is no excuse for students to leave Dixie State University unprepared for the professional workforce.

I often hear about my classmates taking the easiest internship opportunity that presents itself, sometimes even interning at their current place of work. Dear friends: You are only hurting yourselves. Upon graduation, students are thrown to the sharks of the business world who expect them to be prepared for a variety of difficult tasks.

According to the article “Utah students ‘grossly’ unprepared for workforce, study says,” posted by Deseret News, employers are unsatisfied by the up-and-coming workforce because the students fresh out of college lack “necessary skills to communicate.”

The article cited a study that 34 companies and 84 executives participated in.

According to the poll, almost 90 percent of employers think recent graduates lack simple oral and written communication skills. In addition, they also said 81 percent lack critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills.

I remember taking a marketing class in high school, and my teacher told us to always claim we were “critical thinkers” on our résumés. I’ve done so ever since, but I never really knew why until I became a college student. 

Critical thinking is important because it allows the thinker to go beyond first assumptions, and it’s a higher order of thinking. It is self-guided and produces well-rounded reason. It can only be learned if students are actively engaged in their coursework, and it can set them apart from the competition. 

As a student, it’s easy to blame the educational system and say you were never told how to be a critical thinker. However, playing the victim only gets you so far because most of the programs at DSU are designed specifically to prepare students for what lies ahead professionally.

Involvement opportunities like student government, clubs, CEC Television, internships, the Dixie Sun News and many others are valid ways for students to leave college prepared for the real world. 

As far as students who lack oral and written communication skills — now that’s just pathetic and I won’t even go there. 

Perhaps students lose sight of the real reason why they chose to pursue higher education in the first place because they feel there are lots of hoops to jump through, like general education classes. What they don’t realize is that it’s the environment of the general education classes that give students the foundation to develop scholarly practices throughout their collegiate career.

Students who graduate unprepared are simply apathetic, and there is no excuse for that kind of passiveness when there are people and opportunities at DSU designed to help you succeed. 

Personally, being involved in organizations like Dixie Sun News has definitely expanded my confidence and preparedness in leaving college with additional skills employers value. Of course it has taken up extra time in my schedule, but knowing I’ll be more marketable in the future makes all the hard work worth it. 

When students challenge themselves during their collegiate career, they open the door for personal growth. Instead of skimming by and doing the minimum work required, students should take advantage of the opportunities around them in order to help themselves become fit for the workplace.