Entrepreneurial thinking skills and our education system
Graduation time is here, and our fresh graduates are on the job hunt. It is an exciting time for them, but it can also be frustrating. For all you employed folks, think back to when you just graduated. You had your degree in your hand, and you were full of motivation to change the world. Then came the job application, and after that the dreaded interview. Fast forward to landing a position at a company.
You were asked to function in an environment you were never exposed to. Your employer asked you to do things in a way that was unfamiliar to you. Teamwork was somewhat alien to you. Your boss was a challenge to understand, and may still be. Colleagues were sweet, but some were know-it-alls. And you had to learn the business lingo and abbreviations used at the office as if they were part of your mother tongue. Are you not grateful you survived that part of your life?
Do you see any difference between the previous fresh-graduate work experience and the current fresh-graduate job life? If not, welcome to the fresh-graduate job club. Our fresh-graduate job candidates are still being asked to have sets of skills that they have not been exposed to in our education system.
Take entrepreneurial thinking skills: How one thinks that sets them apart from the rest when approaching opportunities and challenges. We are not necessarily born with entrepreneurial thinking skills, but they can be developed as one grows in their role, position or life.
Why are these skills more important now than ever before? They will set employees apart and can make them become recognized and get ahead in their organization. One can identify problems and find solutions quickly, and become more flexible toward change. Entrepreneurial thinking skills are different from business skills. In business, we teach managing risks or mitigating risks, but in entrepreneurial thinking skills taking risks is a livelihood.
Does that mean what we teach in business schools is killing entrepreneurial thinking skills? That is a very important question that I leave readers to think about and come to their own conclusion. The burning question is: If we know what skills employers want, why are we not including them in our curriculum?
Dr. Taghreed Al-Saraj is a best-selling Saudi author, international public speaker and entrepreneurship mentor.