Jun 24, 2008

Wanted: T-shaped students

I came accross an article on Fifth Academic Days Conference in Zurich some time ago, where academic leaders and business leaders met. It called for the creation of 'T-shaped' students. Before you imagine their physical appearance, let me tell you: it's just a metaphor of course. The industry is looking for people with broad general education (the horizonal line) as well as a profound and deep knowledge of a particular subject (the vertical line). I'd add to that the vertical line might actually shift to other fields during your career...

A quote:

Schools are doing this to create ‘T-shaped students’. The vertical part of
the T represents the traditional mathematics and science education of an
engineer and the crossbar is all the other qualities, so students don’t end up
deep but too narrow. Larry told the group, “at IBM we look for people who have a
depth in a particular field but that also possess much broader top end skills.
That’s what it takes for collaboration to occur.”

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