Professor A's Maximizing the College Experience

Who is Professor A?

Prelude: While many students receive a positive total return form education
many earn a low income and a negative economic return.
Effect of Education on Income


1) How important are grades to maximizing my college academic experience?
It depend on the subject. Students good at math should study hard in math,
those who write well should work hard on all writing assignments. Skills Development

should always be paramount.

2) Does this mean that people who are not good in mathematics or English
should ignore these subjects? Answer:
Ignore is a strong word. There is a
basic skill level in core subjects such as mathematics and English that all college
graduates should attain. It is not nearly as high as most educators believe, but
being able to balance a checkbook and write a coherent paragraph consisting of
complete, correctly punctuated sentences is important. See Special Intelligence

3) Is being well rounded important? Is earning two B grades was better than
earning an A and a C
. Answer: If you are seriously ill and need an operation,
do you hire the doctor with a B in Operating Procedures and a B in Bedside Manner
or a doctor with a A in Operating Procedure and a C in Bedside Manner? 


4) So I can forget about extra curricular activities. Answer: Most students studying
math, science and mathematically oriented business areas where economic return
is highest,  do not have as much free time for extra curricular activities. Others, studying
general business and the social sciences (psychology, sociology, history) may look back
    and find the extra curricular activities the most important part of their college experience.
5) I'm confused! Do I, or do I not, study like crazy! Answer: Assuming your goal is to
maximize the economic return from your investment in college, the one word answer
is skills
! You must develop skills someone is willing to pay for. For some majors,
social skills (speaking, organizing, leading), are as important as academic skills
(math, science, writing).
6) So developing critical thinking skills is important. Answer: In most cases, you
must have a useful knowledge base upon which to think critically.  Not always!
Thirty-five years ago my sister, a math major, got her first programming job.
Sitting next to her was an English major. Turns out the skills developed by these
majors are very similar.


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