Employers and College Students Differ on Readiness for Workforce

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, January 26, 2015

Employers and College Students Differ on Readiness for Workforce

*The following is excerpted from an online article from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

A recently released report by the Association of American Colleges highlights the differing views of employers and college students regarding students' readiness to join the workforce.

Soon-to-be college graduates indicated that they felt qualified in areas like written and oral communication, critical and analytical thinking, and applying knowledge and skills to the real world. But employers consistently rated students lower than they rated themselves. For example, while 59 percent of students said they were well prepared to analyze and solve complex problems, just 24 percent of employers said they had found that to be true of recent college graduates.

Among other findings:

• 65 percent of students feel qualified in written communication while 27 percent of employers feel students are qualified.

• 62 percent of students felt qualified in oral communication skills and 28 percent of employers felt students are qualified.

• 59 percent of students feel qualified to apply knowledge to real life and 23 percent of employers feel students are qualified.

The report was based on an online survey of 400 executives at private-sector and nonprofit organizations and of 613 college students (455 seniors at four-year institutions and 158 community-college students who expect to either receive an associate degree or transfer to a four-year institution within the next year). The survey was conducted in November and December by Hart Research Associates.

This is the association’s fifth employer survey—they typically come out every two years or so—but the first to be paired with a companion survey of soon-to-be college graduates, said Carol Geary Schneider, the organization’s president.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education