- A study by the recruiting software firm iCMIS Inc. found that one-third of job applicants are unqualified for entry-level positions, The Wall Street Journal reports. The firm polled 400 employers and 400 college students.
- The iCMIS study also revealed that over two-thirds of employers want to hire engineering, computer science and business/accounting majors, while less than one-half of new graduates majored in those fields.
- Another study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that employers plan to hire 5% more graduates than the previous year for the eighth consecutive year. However, 60% of employers want applicants to know more about the hiring company and its industry. They also want candidates to ask better questions in interviews.
The discrepancy between the skills employers say they need and the skills college graduates bring to the workplace will persist if businesses and academia remain don’t rectify their purposes.
When employers partner with colleges and universities, the likelihood that graduates will have the skills most in demand can increase. Interestingly enough, this is akin to one of the points made by incoming Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Employers and academia naturally want to preserve their areas of expertise. Businesses specialize in identifying the disciplines and skills their industries need, while colleges and universities specialize in preparing students for post-academic pursuits. Today’s technology allows both to do what they do best with greater speed and efficiency.
The challenge is connecting employers and academia without interfering either institution's mission. Both share the common goal of getting graduates better prepared for their entry into the workplace. Experimentation on a wide spectrum -- from apprenticeships to job training extracurricular sessions -- should be a definitive way forward.