Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The gist of this report (60 page PDF) is that people's jobs are often far removed from the discipline they studied in university, and that there are some underlying skills - tactical communication, strategic communication, interpersonal oversight, and operational oversight - can be found across a wide range of disciplines. This explains why "only 27% of college graduates work in a field related to their major," according to a 2015 study (51 page PDF). The results are based on a study of first, second and third jobs held by graduates from different college majors as contained in "a database of over 100 million professional profiles." There are still ways this study could be flawed, of course, but this is a lot more convincing than a thought-experiment purporting to show that there are no underlying skills distinct from content knowledge in different disciplines.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 11:27 p.m.