Higher education: Employers say degree no longer means “job ready”

My generation was taught a college education did not guarantee a job long before we were even handed our high school diplomas. But according to this Jan. 26 article by The Washington Post, there may be more to this dilemma than the availability of entry-level job openings.

The story highlighted recent findings which suggest college seniors increasingly lack critical problem solving, decision making and prioritization skills necessary to thrive in the workplace.

A similar report cited featured significant disparities between college seniors’ self-evaluations of applicable skills such as oral communication and critical thinking and potential employers’ evaluations of these soon-to-be-graduates and their skill sets.

The article consulted higher-ups in companies like Xerox and Enterprise Rent-A-Car who say the best entry-level hires are those with the ability to learn and make decisions, qualities which lower numbers of college graduates seem to possess.

This is attributed to how this generation of college graduates have been “syllabused” through school and place too much weight in selecting a “practical” field of study like business. It notes employers are looking for a combination of broad academic and practical experience and encourages undergraduate students to work hard inside the classroom but to also reach beyond to outside activities.

This Enterprise commercial incorporated in the piece features former college athletes to promote the high volume of college graduates the company hires – an example of the “mix” or “combination” of experience these companies are looking for.

 

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