“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford
In and of themselves, schools, students and markets often fall short of transforming talent into marketable skills. While each is invaluable, one without the others will typically fail to produce success.
Current employment trends among recent graduates support this. Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported that 53% of college graduates under age 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.
While the economy deserves its share of the blame, a closer look shows that those students who obtained degrees that were in demand were less likely to be unemployed or underemployed than those who chose to study subjects that were not in demand. Graduates with degrees in nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science fared much better than those who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history or humanities.
Considering today’s job market, both academia and industry can benefit from a closer link between education’s source (the university), its subject (the student) and its objective (gainful employment).
The University Program’s primary goal is to equip schools with our trading software through corporate software donations. Universities, in turn, apply the software to their curricula as they see fit. Some use the software during classroom instruction, some install it in labs to provide students with hands-on training, and some do both. We’ve even seen the software used for inter-scholastic trading competitions.
Our experience has shown that through our software donations, universities and their students benefit from TT’s innovations while we benefit from their feedback and application of our software.
This program also helps participating schools produce graduates who are familiar with our industry and our products. These graduates have an advantage in the marketplace because they are further along the learning curve than those who may have studied the principles of trading, but never had the opportunity to practice those principles using real-world software like ours.
Today, more than 40 universities around the world participate in our program. The schools that benefit most are those that have a vision for bringing the marketplace to the classroom. They understand that our software’s applications go beyond just trading. Applications include:
Many contend that higher education is responsible for educating the “whole” student, not just training them for a specific occupation. But university curricula typically cannot keep up with the demands of the marketplace. If universities want their curricula to always be current, and companies want graduates who are always well equipped to succeed, then the two entities need to work together.
This is the core reason why TT’s University Program exists. By developing strong relationships with the schools that participate in our program, we can enhance a school’s curriculum and contribute to each university’s efforts in many ways beyond simply donating our software. For example, we take on classroom speaking engagements, we participate on advisory boards and we provide curriculum feedback to professors.
This brings us to the students themselves. Despite the best efforts of universities and the companies that support them, a college degree no longer guarantees that a graduate will find a job commensurate with the cost of education. A university’s resources, including its corporate partnerships, mean nothing if students fail to diligently consider how their skills and passions might fit into the workplace. Students must honestly consider their skills, passions and workplace opportunities when assessing universities and career paths. Students who do this are more likely to choose universities that are best equipped to prepare them for rewarding careers in industries matched to their skills and passions.
While it’s no great revelation that the coordinated efforts of students, schools and industry produce successful results, it is still common for them to operate on their own. TT’s University Program continues to seek those schools that provide us with a platform to mutually promote each other and provide value to the student, the school and the marketplace.
In future blog posts, I’ll share some real-world examples, focusing on schools that are successfully harnessing the power of our software to enhance their students’ learning. In the interim, if you’re an educator or a student and you’re interested in learning more about how our program can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by completing our inquiry form or submitting a comment here on our blog.
Posted by: Leo Murphy, TT CampusConnect™ Program Manager