“You can’t become successful just by going to college or by following any formula.” -Peter Thiel
Pay-pal co-founder Peter Thiel is known for bomb throwing when it comes to the higher education system — even sponsoring a fellowship paying young people not to go to college — but he has made clear recently that at heart he doesn’t want to tear down college. He wants people to take command of their own fate no matter their path.
And that’s the problem I see with many new college graduates when I’m hiring for my creative agency. Many recently graduated marketing majors tend to “outsource their futures” to use another Thiel phrase, rather than taking control of their careers. They treat college like a formula to follow, calculating that seat time plus a diploma equals career readiness.
The dirty secret of higher education, though, is that it is failing most of its graduates. Seat time doesn’t cut it, so many of the young people starting out in marketing who I talk to haven’t learned the kind of critical thinking, problem solving and drive necessary to crush it in this field.