These Are The Skills Bosses Say New College Grads Do Not Have

The lack of these skills, especially critical thinking and analysis, can be attributed to the K-12 emphasis on testing rather than problem solving.

 

PayScale’s report – taken from data acquired as part of the organization’s larger employee compensation survey – shows that certain soft and hard skills tend to be missing from young graduates.

Among ‘hard skills’ – unambiguous proficiencies useful on the job – managers said new grads were most lacking in writing proficiency. In fact, 44% of managers surveyed said as much. Also, 39% of managers found their recently matriculated hires to be lacking in public speaking skills and 36% claimed they needed to bone up on their data analysis talents—that includes knowledge of programs like Excel, Tableau, Python, R, etc.

Among soft skills, managers were even more united in their opinions of where they see a dearth. According to PayScale’s survey, 60% of managers claim the new graduates they see taking jobs within their organizations do not have the critical thinking and problem solving skills they feel are necessary for the job. Additionally, 56% of managers said recent grads do not pay attention to detail and 46% said the young workers would do well to hone their communication skills. Some 44% of managers reported a lack of leadership qualities and 36% reported lower-than-needed interpersonal and teamwork skills.

That managers feel the latest additions to their organizations need to develop some further skills may not be entirely surprising. On the other side of the table, though, recent graduates seem to feel – for the most part – that they are going into their new gigs reasonably prepared.

According to PayScale’s survey, 25% of recent grads felt they were “extremely prepared” for their new jobs while only 8% of managers agreed. 62% of recent grads felt they were “mostly prepared,” while only 42% of managers concurred. When asked whether they were “well prepared,” 87% of recent grads said they were, but only 50% of managers seemed to feel that way.

The gap between the skills college grads have and what they need to succeed at their new careers is very real. Luckily the chasm can be bridged by some added instruction and earned experience.

 

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Gain a competitive advantage in the job search–it’s not about grades

73% of HR professionals… feel that job applicants do a “bad job” of tailoring their resumes to specific positions…. Only 28% of candidates said they always customize their resumes for a position, which means the majority of candidates are not taking advantage of the opportunity to highlight their most relevant experience.

… keywords are a must with 63% of HR professional respondents who reported that job applicants do a “good job” of including relevant keywords in their resumes.
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The average corporate recruiter manages approximately 20 to 30 open requisitions at a time, so when hundreds of applicants apply to a company posting, that person can only spend less than two hours per position to review applications even if he works a 50 hour week…. If recruiters on average only get to the first 10% to 12% of applicants, the closer you are to the top, the more likely your application will be noticed.

“Whether it’s meeting at a networking event, making an introduction via LinkedIn or having a friend recommend you, networking is your ticket to better job seeking results,”

In this age of social super-connectedness, nothing trumps a warm in-person personality (so make a phone call!)

Read the full article here

4 of the Worst Lessons You Learn in College

Worst Lesson #2.   Second chances are a common occurrence

Most colleges have policies that allow students to retake courses they fail without much consequence. This is one college’s policy on retaking courses: “If you earn a failing grade (F, WU, or FIN) in a course and then retake the course in a subsequent semester, earning a grade of A, B, C, or CR, both grades will remain on the transcript. However, the failing grade will no longer be calculated in your … GPA.” Many other schools have similar policies.

At work, if an employee continues to submit work that’s sub-par and doesn’t meet expectations, that employee will more than likely be fired after a short period of time. He or she would not be able to continue to resubmit his or her work until it was correct on the company’s dollar.
The same applies to late policies and missed assignments. Many college classrooms are far more lenient than any workplace would ever be.
Read more:

American made: the new manufacturing landscape

During the recession many companies retooled their operations installing more and more automation. Today, there are many (certainly not a total replacement for those 10s of thousands of “old” manufacturing jobs lost) new and highly skilled–and high paying–jobs in the new manufacturing workplace.

Follow this week-long audio report on the re-emergence of American manufacturing.

Only 59 percent of first-time students at 4-year institutions complete their degrees within six years

Of those that make it to graduation, one-in-three hold a job that does not require a college degree, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Recent college graduates are more likely to be unemployment and underemployment for recent graduates has risen since 2001….  Part of the blame for high college dropout rates and underemployment rests on the shoulders of high schools, he says, which have used a “lazy approach” to push all students toward college.

Read the complete article here

Helicopter Parents: Learned Helplessness of a Generation

Adding to my amazement that 8% of college grads take their parents along on their first job interview comes this news that it’s now a subject of scholarly research:

“While parental involvement might be the extra boost that students need to build their own confidence and abilities, over-parenting appears to do the converse in creating a sense that one cannot accomplish things socially or in general on one’s own,” wrote the authors, two professors from California State University Fresno. The authors of “Helicopter parents: An Examination of the Correlates of Over-parenting of College Students,” Jill C. Bradley-Geist and Julie B. Olson-Buchanan, go on to detail how over-parenting can actually ruin a child’s abilities to deal with the workplace.

Vannucci also had a college-aged client whose parents did her homework for her. The client’s mother explained that she didn’t want her daughter to struggle the same way she had. The daughter, however, “has grown up to be an adult who has anxiety attacks anytime someone asks her to do something challenging” because she never learned how to handle anything on her own.

Barrow knows classmates who call after every test, or whose parents text or Facebook asking how particular questions went. “Those kids are still very reliant on their parents making decisions and doing their everyday life,” she said. “It’s a tough way to head into life if you are reliant on other people to help with decisions.”

Link

Making The Grade Online

Making the grade online

My anecdotal research (see below) affirms my belief that there a different skill set required for optimal success in the “blended” classroom of today. I think we can be giving our students a leg up on the competition by developing our own (educator) skills in this new world.
I found this other article to be pretty informative about this trend a towards a new learning environment and skills:
  • Clark College is now using Canvas and Edmodo as I learned from a couple of our Running Start students.
  • And some of our recent alumni have also shared their online classroom experiences with me because I started introducing online learning skills in my classes when I started teaching high school eight years ago.
  • My son who taught at WSU-Pullman last year (now at Cal State) also taught online courses.