mid broader discussions about the future of the American work force, the National Science Foundation has just released a comprehensive report on the state of engineering and science in America. There’s a lot of meat in the report, but I found this chart to be particularly striking…
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I entered school as an EE major and after 3 years of not making the grades, I switched to liberal arts and graduated.
I then entered the work force in an engineering field nonetheless. After another two years I needed more stimulation and took CS classes at night. The second time around I was getting straight As in my classes.
My point is that yes, the article is correct in that I, as a statistic, didn’t put enough effort into my classes when I was in college. There’s no getting around that. However a few years later, holding down a full time job I was putting the requisite effort into the work.
so how did that happen?
Basically my story was that I was too “young” to really understand the dedication and discipline required to succeed academically. My cautionary tale is that it’s OK to accept that after high school not everyone is ready for college.
I’ve seen other studies allude to this phenomenon, than as people generally ‘grow up’ slower it’s better to embrace and adjust rather than keep a hard line on when the college years are. and it’s a shame because I’ve seen numerous eager and creative engineering types get totally derailed in the first few years of college because they needed an extra few years to grow up.