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Study Shows Employers Think College Grads Are Ill-Prepared for “Real World” Jobs


My mother never prepared me for just exactly how much schooling I would have to endure.

She should have sat me down before sending me off to pre-school and say “Kristin, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’re going to be in school for the rest of your life. Have a nice day first day, I packed your favorite snack for lunch.” Growing up, I was always under the impression that I just had to finish high school and that college was always an option — a preferred option, but an option nonetheless. So after graduating high school and attending college, the dreams of obtaining a job straight after commencement seem to be a distant thought.

The choice between searching for employment or deciding to continue your education is a personal preference but to those who are ready to dive head first into the job market, your potential employers may not be ready for you.

Insider Higher Ed released a new study stating that managers of corporations view college students are displaying “a gap between the skills hiring managers reported seeing in recent graduates and the skills the students perceive themselves as having mastered.” Only 39% of hiring managers feel as though college students are prepared for the workforce of post-grad employment. That is one scary thought. Why are we paying tuition? Why are we bothering with school only for our potential employees to be less than floored with our performance?

While many of us have busted our chops to ensure that our GPAs were up to par, less than half of employers say that GPAs are a direct determinant of employment. The study also shows that students are more reliant on riding the coattails of their prestigious academic institutions than sharpening the skill sets they actually possess or should possess.

Well then…

As a senior who will be out in the real world in the near future, this scares the CRAP out of me. I’m not sure where to analyze where all of this is coming from. Is it the curriculum? Is it the administration? Perhaps it is the students… I can only speak for the institution that I attend, but I don’t know many students who feel as though they are being challenged. In my department, you are only required to have obtained one internship before you graduate. How do you expect me to transition in the media industry with only having one internship under my belt? Red flag. 

However, for what Howard lacks in ensuring that we are challenged every second and requiring field work, they make up for in instilling self-confidence. Yet, while Inside Higher Ed is saying that we as college students are overly self-assured, I think that also plays a role in being able to snag a job offer. Skills can always be learned. Who wants an insecure worker representing their company.

… I didn’t think so.

[Lead image via BONNINSTUDIO/Shutterstock]

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