Trade Schools Vs UC

I recently had the pleasure of visiting my younger brothers college in Vallejo California, I was visiting him to watch a championship ruby game that he was playing in. He goes to the Cal-Maritime academy, which is a specialized trade school for those who want to go into the Maritime industries. As I toured the campus I was struck by how incredibly specialized the school really was. Each of the specified majors gave direct, practical, hands on work-environment experience that was tailored to a job and applicable to the industry. If one wanted to major in Maritime engineering, there was an engine room that students woulds physically study, work, and be tested on. If one wanted to be a ship captain there was a 3D ship driving simulator that based scenarios on real life situations. These facilities that gave direct practical experience was complemented with the technical knowledge taught by the professorial in the classroom. I thought that the school was an amazing place to learn and I soon became jealous of my brother for choosing such a great and practical university.I being a communication student at UCSD always wondered how the theoretical knowledge I was learning in class can be used in the real world. This department at UCSD offered me very little hands on experience in media, journalism, or public relations, which are the specific industries that my major is tailored to fit. All knowledge is conveyed through a classroom setting and very few projects are given that can be used in developing a portfolio of resume for potential employers. As I came to these realizations I had a bit of disillusionment as to what i’ve been working for for the last 4 years. All knowledge I have been given was theoretical. I didn’t have the hands on experience that would make me hire-able to any employer in my industry. THe knowledge I had could only prepare me for a masters degree in communications, not a job. I came to the conclusion that it would do  UCSD a great service if they took a few pages out of Cal-Maritime’s book. Rather than focusing on theory UCSD should bring out more field experience and hands on activities. This would prepare students for the real world and a real job. I will conclude on the fact that Cal-Maritime has an employment percentage of 98% and most of their students get jobs that are not entry level and are related to their major. The employment rate of students in UCSD’s Communication department is at about 70% and nearly 5% get jobs related to their major.



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