With the current economy, students graduating from college must have some work experience under their belts. Some universities, like Northeastern, are incorporating internships or volunteering as part of the curriculum.
In this economy, a student is at a serious disadvantage if they are graduating from college with no work experience. Some universities have a "field study" option or certain programs may have work experience components. However, this is usually considered of secondary importance to classroom education and grades.
Some universities are incorporating work experience as a mandatory part of the curriculum.
Take Northeastern University's model of "
". Most students take 5 years to graduate, and are required to spend several semesters in an internship or volunteer job. They are encouraged to collaborate on projects with other students and to jumpstart companies and pilot projects.
This is a great example of the future of education. It is critical in this global competitive environment to incorporate concrete skills and tangible experience with traditional classroom- and book-based education.