Education & Employers

Karl Fisch, at the Fischbowl (a staff development blog for high school teachers), summarizes the report “How Should Colleges Assess and Improve Student Learning?”

http://tinyurl.com/2n5544

This stuff always intrigues because I want to make sure we are doing the right things in class. Fisch provides his summary via a multiple choice question:

So, let me summarize (bias alert! bias alert!) via a single multiple choice question:

1. According to this report:

a. Grades are pretty much a non-factor in the hiring process.

b. Multiple choice tests are an unreliable predictor of success.

c. Employers are pretty much satisfied with the content knowledge of their employees and think assessments that cover content are relatively meaningless.

d. Employers want their employees to be more globally oriented, to take charge of their own job, and they must be able to communicate effectively through writing.

e. Employers prefer meaningful, relevant, experiential learning over an isolated, content-focused-only approach.

f. All of the above.

I think it fits to ponder these conclusions in light of graduate library education. A wise librarian once told me during my masters work: “No one will ever look at grades in libraries.” I don’t think anyone ever did when I turned in my transcripts at SJCPL when I graduated. I think the report and Fisch are on the right track: maybe instead of a GPA and a series of 12 letter grades for the coursework, a history of guided and self-directed exploration as evidenced by projects, papers and critical thinking as well as siezed opportunities for experiential learning better tells the story of a an LIS student’s potential for library work. Maybe that multiple choice test is not the way to go. :-)

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4 thoughts on “Education & Employers”

  1. No ones does look at grades. After 30 years in the life, what I see happening is a move towards hiring non degreed part time staff because it’s cheaper. I don’t fault the administrators – they know better. but public libraries are first on the chopping block when yet another “required” social services program gets started. My place is losing 10 per cent of it’s budget, in mid year, thanks to a local safety initiative.

    I would rather be safe than stabbed, but now that puts the kibosh on hiring, on buying more materials etc.

    THAT is something that library schools should address with their new recruits – I am a real technology hound and love to make things more available for my patrons. Yet we need to have a job at all in order to do so.

  2. I found this out just a little while ago when I went to my career counselor to prepare my resume for the big post-grad school job search. I had my GPA from both grad school and undergrad because I’m just kind of proud of it. She crossed out my GPA in red pen and said “No one cares about this”. I was so disappointed. Years of obsession over that little number and all that work, for naught….unless, of course, I end up doing a second master’s. ;)

  3. Maybe we’re at one end of the spectrum and everyone else is down at the other end, but when we look at candidates for positions at Darien Library, and someone is at a point where their education is a large part of the experience and credentials they bring, we look at grades.

    What you have done in your career, and how well you have done it, matters. Early in your career, what you have done in grad school, and how well you have done it, is a big part of what matters. That will fade over time, but it *will* get you started.

    Surely in many other libraries, too, newly-minted librarians with good grades are going to continue to have an advantage. That advantage may or may not outweigh other attributes, but does count for something.

  4. These days with times so hard as for employment. Employers are looking for employees who have education but some type of work related experience together. There has been alot of lay offs and business are looking to have well rounded employees. Some highs school in the US are putting hands on career acamedics as part of their curriclums so these students have work and education experience at an earlier age. I have experienced something in similar. I have about 6 years of education in accounting because I studied accounting since I was in the 11th grade in high school. I continued my studies and went to college. In my sophomore year I started to submit my resume to a few companies thinking I would be a great canadiate because of my education, and it turns out that companies need someone who has the work experience. Schools give you the education but they do not prepare you for what it is really like out there, I was blessed enough find a job the did give me a chance but I had to start from the bottom just to prove I knew what I was doing. It would be great if schools gave sstudents hands on experience to see what teacher are teaching them and how it interputs in the “real work world”

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