Just before graduation, they told us: “You will probably not use anything from your classes. We taught you how to solve problems.”
My Mathematics major is nearly worthless, as a mathematician, without a masters or PhD. I became a software developer when there were no classes for that.
My first job was to write an app using a class that I did not take, a computer that I had never seen, and a programming language that I had never heard of. I had to spend a day at the library reading a math book before I accepted the job. It solved 40 equations with 90 unknowns and increased the company’s share of the market by 20 percent. I was lucky to find that job.
In my last job, which I got at age 65, I also applied knowledge from school. I described what I did to someone in the lobby. He said “My god. They have a mathematician on the programming staff!”
In between, I almost never used anything accept simple algebra and that was rare.
About real life, you are absolutely correct. Even a class or two before the on-the-job training after graduation would have helped.
I really didn’t get straightened out until I met my wife in my 50’s. She has more sense than anybody I ever met. I was really lucky to find her.
Thanks for highlighting a big problem. A one-hour “Real World” class should be required in the freshman and senior years. Of course, the students have to pay attention.