Published on 2013/03/15

Employers Want Meaningful Degrees

Although employers in the United States prefer hiring job candidates who hold a higher education credential, many are saying that it is becoming a challenge to find graduates who are prepared to work, according to a survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace.

The survey indicated that over 60 percent of employers believe colleges are doing a good job preparing graduates for the workforce. However, more than 50 percent of employers also say that they are struggling to find highly-qualified degree-holders and notice that many lack essential soft skills such as problem-solving, communication and adaptability.

It is believed that employers’ changing expectations of higher education institutions may be partly to blame for the increasing tension over the lack of qualified degree holders, according The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Executive Director of Workforce Strategy Center Julian L. Alssid said that while educators think of skills in an academic sense, employers often want practical competencies that can be transferred to the workforce. Further, it’s becoming clear that employers no longer want to take on the responsibility or cost of preparing and training new hires to be able to perform well in their positions.

“Companies expect everyone, recent graduates included, to be ready to go on day one,” Philip D. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, told The Chronicle of Higher Education. “The mantle of preparing the work force … has been passed to higher ed.”

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