Are College Grads Career Ready?

The biggest discrepancy in rating college students “career readiness” is the perception of readiness based on employer feedback versus student self-assessment. When assessing recent college graduates against the career competencies that NACE identified for “career readiness”, employers tended to rate college graduates lower than the graduates did themselves. This suggests that there is a gap in readiness that employers see that students do not.

When analyzing different career competencies that are crucial for students and young professionals to obtain in college, communication consistently rises to the top. When asked about skills that employers are seeking from candidates applying for positions, NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 reported verbal communication skills as the most important skill for a candidate to possess. NACE’s Job Outlook, asks employers to rate different career competencies and skills on a five-point scale with five being the most important and one being the lowest. Verbal communication skills came back rated as a 4.63. According to the 2018 Job Outlook, Critical Thinking and problem solving skills is the top-rated skill at 4.62. Unfortunately, the only “career readiness” category that recent graduates are rated higher on by the employer than by themselves  is digital technology. This suggests that there is more work to be done in assisting students with actual vs. perceived skill levels. Studies suggest that students who participate in key work experiences prior to graduation, like internships, might more accurately reflect their skill levels.

For more information on this article please visit NACE’s Are College Graduates “Career Ready”? or the 2018 Job Outlook