Why College Grads Aren't Ready for the Real World

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 05-07-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Appealing Pool
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    Appealing Pool

    65% of surveyed employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 57% last year.
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    Lucrative Offer
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    Lucrative Offer

    One-third will offer higher pay to these hires than they did last year, and one in four will pay $50,000 or more.
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    Incomplete Effort
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    Incomplete Effort

    21% do not feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles within their organizations.
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Real Need
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Real Need

    46% said there's too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning.
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Proper Balance
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Proper Balance

    38% said they need more candidates with the right blend of tech and soft skills.
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Learning Curve
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Learning Curve

    22% said they'd like for colleges to better prepare students for the growing complexities of today's entry-level roles.
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    How Colleges Fall Short: On-the-Job Training
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    How Colleges Fall Short: On-the-Job Training

    15% said there isn't enough focus on internships.
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Change Management
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    How Colleges Fall Short: Change Management

    14% said tech is changing too quickly for academic institutions to keep up.
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    Biggest Skills Lacking, Part I
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    Biggest Skills Lacking, Part I

    Interpersonal/people skills: 52%, Problem-solving: 46%, Oral communications: 41%, Leadership: 40%, Written communications: 38%
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    Biggest Skills Lacking, Part II
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    Biggest Skills Lacking, Part II

    Teamwork: 37%, Creative thinking: 36%, Project management: 26%, Research and analysis: 16%, Math: 15%
 

Given the lack of available talent to fill key roles, an increasing number of employers are looking to hire college graduates this year, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. They're also willing to pay more money to do so. That said, many of these employers feel that academic institutions are falling short when it comes to preparing young people to work in today's business environment, findings show. Specifically, there's too much emphasis on book learning as opposed to real-world challenges, survey participants said. Job candidates are failing to develop the right combination of tech and soft skills. And college graduates in general often struggle with respect to problem solving and communicating-the latter both verbally and written. "New college graduates have better prospects this year than in years' past-both in terms of opportunities and salary offers," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "They still face challenges, however. (A significant share of) employers feel colleges do not adequately prepare students with crucial workplace competencies, including soft skills and real-world experience that might be gained through things like internships." A total of 2,175 hiring managers and HR professionals took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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