I\’m going to be starting a new series here on upstartHR. Everyone knows by now that I have a few topics that I\’m truly passionate about. One of those is what we’re learning in college. I have talked before about the holes in the HR curriculum where students are being done a disservice. This topic continues to rise to the surface in conversations I\’m having on a weekly basis. This series will cover the potential and pitfalls of HR education.
HR education isn\’t all it\’s cracked up to be. The colleges and universities are living in a different age. And although some of them are trying to upgrade with technology, they\’re still using textbooks as the major instructional material. And who writes those textbooks? Well, I\’m sure they\’re smart people, but for the most part, they are not involved with the day-to-day business world. For some students in technology-rich fields, their college education may be obsolete by the time they graduate. This scathing comment from a study performed by Quintessential Careers:
“College was a total waste of time and money. Computer courses are bordering on obsolete by graduation. There were not nearly enough computer courses in my degree program. I gained no skills to get me a job.”
— 2003 computer information systems grad
While HR education may not be moving quite as fast as that, it\’s still light years ahead of what some schools are teaching. I read recently that SHRM has a curriculum that it pushes for schools to offer. I don\’t know exactly what that may entail, but being the largest HR organization in the world means that it\’s naturally going to move slower than other, smaller organizations. Maybe it\’s time for someone to offer something revolutionary in terms of HR education?
Here\’s a novel idea. Why don\’t we take some measure (not all, mind you) of education from the HR blogs that already exist? There are dozens (hundreds?) of wonderful people pouring their hearts and efforts into maintaining a blog that describes the ins and outs of human resources. What if schools had some sort of HR education curriculum that required—or at the very least suggested—its students study from those actively participating in the field? How revolutionary would that be?
I only found out about the prevalence of the blogosphere when I was nearly finished with college. And that was only through my own personal research on topics that are unrelated to human resources. I stumbled across a few blogs and loved the community-like aura and the availability of information. And it wasn\’t until the end of last year that I started engaging in the HR blogosphere by reading and commenting.
During the recent SHRM blogger panel, there seemed to be a fair amount of interest from people interested in starting their own HR blogs. With so many remarkable and talented individuals in our field, it\’s going to be fascinating to see where the HR blogosphere moves in the future. I hope you enjoy the HR education series and that it helps to open your thinking to new creativity and innovation.
Read more in the HR education series.