The "walking dead" lecture hall

My former student, Chris, has just graduated from a job as an analyst at Barclays Investment Bank in London. It was a prestigious seat in times of employment that was lucky.

I know that sweet fruit is not natural. In valuation model subject, after the theory, Chris asked me to ask if there is anything realistic about the pricing model to read more, I shared with you many sources of reference and about 10 real valuation reports. In fact, he said he had read it all, even though we had just entered this topic in class that day.

I share more with you the research data that my department paid for registration. After several months, more than 400 valuation reports passed through Chris.

He chose the topic of investment bank oil companies valuation models to do the graduation thesis for me. In his dissertation, he criticized analysts who did not understand anything about pricing certain types of oil and gas services.

Because Chris is one of the few students who has an independent and profound perspective on his field, I'm not surprised that immediately after graduation, Chris became an oil and gas analyst at Barclays.

Chris is one of the few good faces to come find me at the office after reading all the given material and wants to ask more. In fact, there are only a few faces I know they definitely have good grades for and have good jobs after graduation. I am grateful that I also learned a lot from them.

On the contrary, many students have completed my course but have never read any of the 10 valuation reports I provide. Near the day of the exam, a student came into the room asking me to almost repeat what I taught in class. Even if my lecture was recorded on the intranet, she wouldn't listen, just learn the instant noodles to pass my exam the following week. I also received several panic emails, asking for documents about data analysis and financial modeling with Excel and how to access information in the Bloomberg room - two skills needed to graduate and if you want to apply for a job at the investment bank. Those are also skills needed to graduate thesis. But last semester, I opened a free Bloomberg class online (while studying outside would have to pay 150 USD), only 15% of students registered.

So to mention that in the time when online, there is an online course like now, self-study is still a luxury for a large number of students, here even though students in the UK. There was an angry professor speaking in the newspaper that the generation now refused to take responsibility for its studies; and make teachers, schools and society responsible for their studies, getting jobs for them. I know he's somewhat generalized, but I sympathize with that emotion, because at least 20% of the students in my class are as he says.

It is not difficult to see that many students not only in the UK, but in many places, including Vietnam, criticize the school for not teaching anything practical, but they are also not willing to find out the information available everywhere. With the evolution of the technology revolution, the main teaching materials of universities will only be part of the learning. The Internet will cover the defect (if it is called a defect). For example, how can you expect a 60-year-old finance professor to write a book about the latest trend of fintech - the financial technology industry?

The technological revolution is creating rapid changes in many fields and it is the universities themselves are embarrassing to deal with this new trend. The extra resources and self-study resources that teachers provide, the resources that the school invests are becoming increasingly important compared to the formal lecture. Lectures provide only background knowledge. Moreover, the lecture always has to be written a few months ago.

For example, the subject I teach, the financial market changes every day about new technologies, trends, skills, information, so I can only provide background knowledge and supplement it with a large amount of supporting material. students learn by themselves so they can delve deeper and further discuss with me. I'm also learning new things myself.

Many universities and lecturers are aware of that, at least the places I know. They prepare a variety of tools to support students with realistic alternative sources such as real simulation models, simulated stock-exchange exchanges, data sources, knowledge sources. They can also introduce you to their former students who are working in relevant positions in large corporations.

But even in the period of dots, knowledge is only valuable if absorbed and transformed through the human brain. All university investment or the knowledge available online can only become fruitful if the student is responsible for his / her study, self-study, self-study, reflection. More than ever, university students who cannot think that they have paid their tuition fees have the right to pretend to be "living corpses" for a few years.

University is not a job brokerage center, but an incubator for people to develop themselves. Good seeds need a good environment to grow.

I am of the opinion of a colleague, that in this era, college is a student's partner, not the customer relationship and education service provider as many people think. Because the university is not a foreign language center or a vocational center.

In many cases, it is hard for universities to teach anything so that graduates can work immediately. Simply because society changes too quickly compared to training programs. If the university focuses on teaching skills to graduate immediately, then there is a risk that students will quickly be eliminated when that skill is outdated. Examples are bookkeeping, accounting skills in accounting. Teaching accounting in university now requires more than analytical skills and less immediate knowledge of operations. It will be obsolete as soon as accounting standards change and computers are replaced.

In this context, universities can only provide resources, guidance for students to self-study, give them problems so they can find ways to solve problems themselves. After graduation, they will know how to solve new problems. Na na, attending college properly now is much more miserable than before. If you take care of taking shortcuts, students will face the risk of being eliminated.

Successful universities also offer more than enough resources to support their students' self-study, including excellent professors, good facilities and good partnerships, and career incubators for students. But that is only a good land. Whether the seed germinates or not still depends on its own movement.

Mara Swan of ManpowerGroup has written an article in the World Economic Forum that, self-study skills, or the desire and ability to learn market skills are needed, are the key to survive in the job market. now and coming.

If you are an employer, do you choose Chris or students who learn to "pretend" or "eat fast"?

Ho Quoc Tuan