Research Says College Grads Are Unprepared for Workforce

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As more and more students complain about lack of jobs and poor employment prospective customers, employers are joining the ranks of those with a gripe. They say that will college students are entering the labor force — or trying to, anyway — without the skills needed to hold straight down or perform a job. This means that within a soft job market, recent grads are usually facing not only stiff competition from experienced workers re-entering the labor force after the recession but also skepticism from your employers with the jobs to offer.

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According to Inside Higher Ed , a lot more students have struggled to find a place in a depressed job market and queries about the employment value of a degree have intensified, while has problem that new graduates are not equipped to function in the work place and are not meeting employers’ expectations. A new survey reaffirms that quandary, but the group that will commissioned it hopes the findings actually teach students something.

In the report, “ Bridge That Gap: Analyzing the particular Student Skill Index , ” only half of college students said they will felt very or completely prepared for a job in their field associated with study. But even fewer companies – 39 percent of those selected – said the same about the latest graduates they’d interviewed in the past two years.

Even wider gaps of varying size emerge when the survey zeroes in on about a dozen different skills. Students and employers consistently disagreed on how prepared new graduates were to employ a dozen different “business basics. ” These include “creating a budget or monetary goal” and “writing to communicate ideas or explain information clearly” (each show a 22 percentage-point gap), and “organization” (25 percent points). In the widest gap, at 27 percentage points, 77 percent of students but only 1 / 2 of hiring managers reported preparation for “prioritizing work. ”

Students fared the best at “making a decision without having all the facts. ” About 47 percent of college students said they were prepared to do that, and 37 percent of hiring supervisors said the same of recent graduates.

Chegg surveyed about 2, 000 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in two- and four-year schools, and 1, 000 hiring supervisors. Higher education’s slow response to technological advancements and employers’ neither employing nor training new graduates have contributed to a disconnect.

The information revealed in surveys like Chegg’s has prompted colleges of different types to come up with new and better ways to prepare students for professions and life after college. But just because people are only observing these types of differences now doesn’t mean they are new. Researchers have only already been tracking these sort of data for about 5 years.

The difference now is that the job market is “much tighter than it has ever been, ” and at the same time students are either unwilling or even unable to accept true entry-level roles that they view as dead-end careers.

Others have argued that colleges aren’t doing enough to prepare students for the work force. In most cases, career services is an isolated, overbooked office that can go underutilized or even flat-out ignored, Chan said within a report he co-authored this year. Instead, colleges should be embedding career development into the fabric of undergraduate schooling. Not only would this better get ready students for life after college, it would help to justify the value of a generous arts degree.

Some colleges are adding programs within innovation and entrepreneurship. Summer business programs are growing in popularity. And other professional schools are doing more to provide co-operative curriculum development such as internships.

The skills gap has also created an opening for new models like the Fullbridge Program and Dev Bootcamp that teach additional skills and traits such as business analysis and research and forward-thinking and perseverance. For students who can afford to pay for them (Fullbridge costs between $5, 000 and $10, 000), these types of courses can provide a leg upward in the interview process.

The Association of American Universites and colleges, meanwhile, started LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) Employer-Educator Compact, an initiative seeking to ensure college students get the experiences and knowledge foundation they need to succeed in the work place. On Monday in Boston, AAC& Oughout and LEAP co-sponsored one of several local forums for educators, employers and policymakers to “chart a plan associated with action” for creating more successful college-to-career paths.

While the prolonged economic recession has caused hard times to fall on graduates of all sorts of institutions, liberal arts education provides faced particular scrutiny from the open public, media and politicians. But Chan notes that some research has found those students are actually better-skilled in what the Chegg report deems “office street smarts. ”

A survey out of Michigan Condition University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute found that the people interviewing generous arts students for jobs think recent graduates have the work place expertise they need, but could not articulate or even demonstrate their abilities and lacked several key technical and professional skills. While arts and sciences students ranked higher than their colleagues in skills including working in the diverse environment, communication and advancement, they lagged being in areas like utilizing software, analyzing, and analyzing and interpreting data.

The Chegg survey found that will science, technology, engineering and math students were “slightly better prepared” than their peers. Those college students fared better among employers within skills including preparedness to explain details and preparedness to solve problems via experimentation.

The findings contain a lesson for colleges, college students and employers. Colleges need to make sure their own curriculums align with the way businesses work today, with fast-paced technologies and social media changing data selection and communication. Employers should articulate to colleges what they’re looking for in employees, and help make sure the what they’re teaching is useful. And college students shouldn’t just take what’s handed to them in the classroom, they should do almost all they can to supplement their schooling with additional skill-building.

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