Survey Reveals that Recent College Grads are Unprepared for the Workforce


In a world where job opportunities are few and far between, job preparedness is a high priority on the minds of young adults and their parents.

Are recent college grads prepared enough to enter the workforce?

A recent survey of 704 employers revealed that more than half of employers have significant difficulty finding qualified candidates for job openings.

More alarmingly, 31% of employers said that recent graduates are “unprepared” or “very unprepared” for their job search.

The survey was conducted in August and September of 2012, by Maguire Associates Inc., a higher-education consulting firm, on behalf of The Chronicle and American Public Media’s Marketplace.

What can be done?

The traditional classroom approach of giving over information in lecture form just doesn’t seem to cut it. Students come out knowing a mass of raw information, but lack the skills to translate that knowledge for real-world application and properly deal with the challenges that arise in professional settings.

According to the report, job candidates are most lacking in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving.”

In the words of Jaime S. Fall, a vice president at the HR Policy Association: “Young employees are very good at finding information, but not as good at putting that information into context… They’re really good at technology, but not at how to take those skills and resolve specific business problems.

To prevent this educational gap from occurring, online colleges such as Touro’s Software Institute are turning towards the learning by doing approach to best prepare students to enter the workforce.

“Students are immersed in realistic professional situations,” says the Institute. “For example, a software company with an idea for a new product, or a start-up e-business about to enter the online marketplace. In each scenario, you assume an authentic job role, taking responsibility for a series of tasks and deliverables that you’ll work with a team to complete. Faculty mentors coach you through each step and you succeed based on the work you deliver.”

Students who learn with this empowering approach learn skills such as “working collaboratively, communicating and negotiating effectively, and leading a project from start to finish.” With these valuable skills behind them, students will be better prepared to step right into a job after they graduate from the program.

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