Does Virginia Tech Provide a Modern Education?

by John Mark Mastakas, GenFKD

This article comes from the Campus Contributor Network. Over the course of the semester, students from across our campus outreach program will analyze their school’s finances and assess the overall return students see on their educational investments.

As college tuition continues to rise, students can’t help but wonder whether or not their college degrees are actually worth the cost.

Dollars and sense

In our society, getting a degree is extremely important in acheiving gainful employment. There is a clear difference in employment rates between those that have a college degree and those who do not. The unemployment rate for those with a college degree is 2.8 percent, and that number jumps up to 5.4 percent for those with just a high school diploma. Those with less than a high school diploma are even worse off, experiencing an 8 percent unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate is at 4.3 percent.

The major at Virginia Tech that earns the most after college is Engineering, as those graduates enjoy an average salary of $62,500 with a 90 percent employment rate, according to the 2013-2014 graduating survey. Business was the second-most lucrative major at $51,000 with an 88 percent employment rate. Students who graduate with degrees from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences can expect an average salary of $53,000, while graduates from the College of Natural Resources and Environment make the least after graduation at $35,000.

Skills provided by your degree

According to Virginia Tech’s Career Services website, the professional skills that students should cultivate include communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills, leadership, and problem solving.

The best way for students to acquire a diverse skill set is through a mixture of in-class and out-of-class experiences. With the help of professors and in-class material, students can learn the hard skills necessary to thrive in skill-specific fields. Career Services at Virginia Tech offers students the ability to grow their out-of-class experiences by affording opportunities for students to gain real-world experience.

There is a tab dedicated solely to “Experience” on the Career Services website that guides students through searches for internships, externships, volunteering, and other experience-oriented extracurricular activities. A mix of these opportunities from Career Services compliment the courses offered at Virginia Tech and allows students to receive a well-rounded modern education.

Real world success

In today’s world, the ability for students to mix hard and soft skills is crucial. As seen on the list of necessary professional skills on the Career Services Website, the ones listed are all “soft-skills” or interpersonal skills. The ability to…

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