WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Purdue University President Mitch Daniels believes more and more employers seem to be caring less and less about college degrees.
“We’re spending a lot of money here. We’re spending four years of our life here, and we’re working our butts off trying to earn this diploma,” said David Hildebrand, a junior studying mechanical engineering.
Sophomore in prepharmacy Mary Tremaine said, “We put in so much effort studying for our degrees.”
These students will be the first to say, it’s not easy earning a diploma at Purdue and Daniels is on the same page.
“It’s harder to get a good grade here. We teach rigorous subjects, much more so than many schools do,” said Daniels. “The track record of our graduates is a very strong one.”
In a University Senate meeting last month, Daniels announced more employers seem to be bypassing universities. He said Purdue officials noticed that some companies are not requiring diplomas, but may be requiring some kind of test or certification. He said more students may leave college with a degree, but they are not ready when put to the test in a job.
While Daniels feels this is not an issue at Purdue, he said that might not be the case for other institutions.
“This is a growing problem for schools that don’t live up to those standards, that are teaching diluted curriculum, that are handing out As to everybody,” said Daniels. “These are the places, from which students are emerging, that employers decide later didn’t tell them very much.”
News 18 spoke to students who said they still prefer having that piece of paper.
“We’re working so hard and college now has become so expensive,” said Mark Peterson, an engineering freshman. “It’s such a big ordeal, that we want something out of our investment.”
Sophomore in prepharmacy Abigail Shockley said, “I think that being in a classroom setting and getting an appropriate education is really the best route.”
Daniels said the university will continue to adapt teaching methods to resemble the working world and referred to the new Polytechnic Institute as an example.