I just read the comment from "Unhappy Employer" regarding their experience with a graduate of Eastern Michigan's online marketing program. While I can sympathize with the employer to some extent, there may be an issue of unrealistic expectations here, and that this is not at all an unusual case. After having spent 15 years in the industrial arena, I spent the next 25 in higher education, and found a serious disconnect between what a new graduate is prepared to do and what employers generally seem to expect of them, and this disconnect has gotten worse recently. I'd like to address comments to both of those groups.
Graduates: A degree doesn't mean that you don't have to know something
about your employers business in order to be useful. That degree just gets your foot in the door. Its' then up to you to get up to speed regarding your employers specific needs and issues as quickly as possible. This usually means doing something extra - ask questions,
volunteer for extra projects, etc. Remember that employers hired you to help be part of the solution.
Employers: A degree (at any level) doesn't guarantee that an otherwise inexperienced person will automatically come prepared with specific industry knowledge or background. It isn't the University's responsibility to provide company specific training that you need to do. Our role is to equip graduates with a set of tools and techniques to be able to function in any environment related to their degrees. Perhaps you could hire students as trainees, or institute a co-op program for those still in school. Then, when they do graduate, they'll have at least a basic awareness of your industry and your company's specific needs. As to EMU, my only experience with that school consisted of hiring a "retired" faculty member (he had 30 years there) at my own college. He turned out to be an outstanding teacher and mentor for his students, and when he finally did retire from our college, we all felt the loss. Bob, if you see this, I hope you're doing well.
~Raymond F. Mignogna, PE ~ Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (Ret.)
Westchester Community College
Name: Unhappy Employer
Post On: January 8, 2010
We hired a recent graduate of this online marketing degree program. He had a high GPA and good college record. But his knowledge of marketing was all textbook with no practicality. He also had remarkably little street smarts about marketing. We were not impressed. The exact opposite. We let him go. We've never hired an EMU grad before so have no comparative knowledge of this college. Have other employers hired from this program?
Post On: March 17, 2009
I have found the IMC program at EMU to be challenging and worthwhile. The professors provide excellent and timely feedback on assignments, and the curriculum is highly relevant to today's business climate. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in a comprehensive overview of marketing.