Agreed. My program focused on developing a portfolio so you could get into grad school. Grad school and New York were really the only things that were pushed on any of us, design/tech and performance. Not once did I hear that Chicago was an option for theater in college despite it being just a 4 hour drive away from campus. I had to learn about the Chicago theater scene at an internship after college. I probably would never have moved here if not for that internship and the people I met there. The opportunities I had in college to design and learn the install/construction side of theater were great, but after graduating, I wished we had learned about other directions we could have taken our careers besides going directly to grad school or moving to NYC to try and make it work.You've got a very good point here. We've all worked with the kid who came out of college, but still didn't know how to plug in a cable, "because that's not what designers do". There are too many programs out there that don't recognize the value in teaching and learning all levels of this business, and who completely ignore the fact that it is a business. I definitely had some serious blind spots when I came out of college, but at least I came out equipped to learn it, and with experience actually putting shows together.
I'd love to see more of the major programs offering associates degrees focused on technology and stagecraft. The engineering college I went to was going through a very similar process with engineering, and refocusing all the programs to have "technology" associate's degrees focused on the physical work of engineering. It was even a huge breath of fresh air for the engineering side, as those students got a lot more experience seeing how things were actually done, instead of just on paper/in CAD.