Most employers say college graduates aren’t prepared for work, reports Bridge That Gap: Analyzing the Student Skill Index, a Chegg survey. Half of college students said they felt very or completely prepared for work in their field of study. Thirty-nine percent of employers said recent graduates they’d interviewed were well-prepared.
Students overvalue their mastery of “business basics,” according to employers, notes Inside Higher Ed.
Those include “creating a budget or financial goal” and “writing to communicate ideas or explain information clearly” (each show a 22 percentage-point gap), and “organization” (25 percentage points). In the widest gap, at 27 percentage points, 77 percent of students but only half 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 students said they were prepared to do that, and 37 percent of hiring managers said the same of recent graduates.
More than 90 percent of hiring managers are looking for graduates who’ve shown initiative and leadership. They also look for extracurriculars, internships and work related to applicants’ field of study. Only a third of college graduates have spent time gaining experience in their field.
Chegg also looked at “Office Street Smarts” by asking five questions:
1. Can graduates make a persuasive argument to convince others to adopt their ideas?
2. Can they write to encourage action or make a specific request?
3. Were they able to communicate with authority figures and clients?
4. Can they collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds?
5. Can they complete a project as part of a team?
Again, students “have an over-inflated sense” of their communications and collaboration skills.
STEM graduates were “slightly better prepared” to explain information and solve problems through experimentation, employers said.