Omninox

A blog about education technology, teaching, learning, and startups

The Most Helpful Skill that Students Can Learn

Most college students only use around 10% of the information they learn in college. The rest is shaped by professional experience

First I want to reiterate what everyone always tells you, that college is very important. You might be wondering why it’s important if we use little of what we learn… the reason is because college is a way for us to learn how to think, explore our interests and ourselves, and find out who we really are. To our dismay, some of us may find that we are thoughtless, clueless, and unprepared for the real world. This is ok because there has never been a better time to make mistakes and learn from them

A story of Karl B

I have a friend. I’m going to call him Karl. Karl studied engineering in college, but he had cultivated another hobby since he was 10 years old: programming computers. Starting with BASIC, he has since moved up various levels and has in his repertoire of computer languages the likes of PHP, JavaScript, Shell, Python, HTML/CSS, among others. What is interesting is, programming is not even his passion. He just likes to do what he wants. After pursuing a “traditional” path from his degree for a couple of years, he decided that was not for him and had his hobby to fall back on because he enjoyed creating an entrepreneurial vision out of his hobby much more than pursuing a more traditional career path. Now he is a freelance developer who also works on a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup.

I am not saying that programming is the most important skill that students should pick up. It is only an option. In reality, it wasn’t programming that allowed Karl the ability to choose a different path. It was his innate desire to learn that empowered him to be able to confidently make a risky choice. The most important skill that students can learn is actually not as simple as saying “programming” or “graphics design” or “workaholism”. It simply involves cultivating an incessant desire to learn and explore new things.

Image source: http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/juggling-language-11.jpg