Writing Task 2 – Academic vs. Vocational – Answer

Nowadays, most people learn academic studies in university, but others think we should be encouraged to learn vocational skills more.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant  examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


Traditionally, it has been expected that when students attend university they should purely learn academic skills as opposed to vocational skills, partly because they believe you are unintelligent unless you can study theory to the nth degree. More recently there is a demand to introduce more practical skills into the university curriculum which has generally been opposed by elite academics at prestigious universities.

Academic education is obviously a hugely important factor in a person’s life as well as for the companies for which they then work. Within certain areas, such as theoretical physics and medicinal drugs, it is quite clear that an extremely high level of academic knowledge would be required. Vocational skills would, in all likelihood, have no significant benefit.

However, there are other industries, for example oil and gas, manufacturing and practical medicine where vocational skills could make a huge difference. Companies such as Shell, BP et cetera have already voiced their concerns over graduates that have excellent academic ability but a startling lack of practical knowledge and wish to introduce, and in some instances even sponsor, new practical courses to run in conjunction with academic ones.

In my opinion, vocational skills should be encouraged. I am not a particularly academic person but that does not mean I am not intelligent. I have succeeded in my life using my practical abilities far more than simply using my ability to understand something. I firmly believe that, depending on what career you want, you should be able not only to understand the theory behind something, but also have the ability and confidence to make it a reality.



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