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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Only 40 Percent of Employers Say College Graduates Have Basic Skills for Hiring

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. September 16, 2018

In a recently released employer survey commissioned by te Association of American Colleges and Universities, only 40 percent said recent college graduates are well-prepared to handle tasks requiring good communication skills. Even worse, less than 40 percent said graduates are proficient in writing, critical thinking or applying knowledge to real-world situations.

According to the survey, oral communication is the #1 job skill identified by executives and hiring managers as very important for their new hires.  Ranked fifth in the AACU’s last employer survey in 2015, oral communication replaces teamwork in the #1 spot.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities commissioned the survey as part of its work, over the past decade, to learn what skills are needed by companies from college graduates. The 15 top skills in the order of importance to corporate leaders are these:

  • #1 Able to effectively communicate orally

  • #2 Critical thinking/analytical reasoning

  • #3 Ethical judgment and decision making

  • #4 Able to work effectively in teams

  • #5 Able to work independently

  • #6 Self motivated, initiative, proactive

  • #7 Able to communicate effectively in writing

  • #8 Can apply knowledge and skills to real-world situations

  • #9 Researching, organizing and evaluating from many sources

  • #10 Ability to analyze and solve complex problems

  • #11 Analyze and solve problems with people of different backgrounds and cultures

  • #12 Able to innovate and be creative

  • #13 Stay on top of changing tech/applications to workplace

  • #14 Able to work with numbers and statistics

  • #15 Proficiency in languages other than English

Progressive education has replaced traditional learning in public schools. It puts great emphasis on team work – cooperative learning – which is rated as #4 for needed job skills.

Schools also spend much time on developing the ability to analyze, solve complex problems, creativity, and innovation yet these skills are ranked by employers in the bottom 7 skills that are important to employers.

Taxpayers are being gouged for billions for digital devices and programs under the guise that students must be prepared for the technological 21st century workplace. Yet staying up with changing technology and applications ranks nearly at the bottom – #13 – of necessary skills.

Being able to understand and work with cultures is critical say liberals. Yet corporation seem to disagree, ranking that skill near the bottom of their corporate needs -- #11.

Students are not prepared to enter the work place even after 13 years of elementary and secondary education and four expensive years of university. There are far better options for educating our children.

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