Surveys & reports that show employers, career center professionals, students, graduates, alumni, and legislatures want a focus on careers
Every Monday, I join Tony Beshara, author of nearly ½ dozen career books, radio personality, and executive recruiter (Tony has placed 10,000 people in executive positions), for a segment on his radio program to share strategies about how students and grads can transition from their campuses to their first professional jobs.
Tony is like an energizer bunny on a mission to help people become all they can be, a fact recognized by Dr. Phil McGraw who turns to Tony when his TV program focuses on careers.
This month, Tony and I have been talking about graduates.
Our discussion last week circled around the fact that nobody seems to be happy with the level of career preparedness of graduates.
- Career center professionals don’t think grads are ready for their first professional job searches, nor are they happy with the support they are getting from management to accomplish what their customers (students & alumni) expect from them.
- Business leaders are not happy with the level of “career readiness” colleges are providing students, and they complain that they unnecessarily have to retrain graduates to get them up to speed.
- Graduates don’t think their alma maters have prepared them for their careers and are facing higher levels of underemployment than any previous generation–and, at the same time, they are saddled with more debt than any generation.
- Alumni are increasingly asking for career support through coaching, networking, job placement, and related career curriculums.
- State legislatures and the federal government are tightening funding for higher education and forcing colleges to pay attention to data that increases retention, the number of students graduating, and those who are graduating on time, with less debt, and (finally) with gainful employment!
That got me thinking about the numerous reports I’ve seen over the last 2-3 years that have been hammering these points home. I decided to pull together a list for you that highlights the urgency to implement strategies to solve these issues. For the sake of brevity (rare for me), I limited it to only 25 surveys and reports.
As you read through the list — think about what:
- Your college has done to fix or solve the issues each is highlighting
- You can do to facilitate changes to solve the issues
Then, take a moment to grade your college on how well it is doing to address the issues raised by these surveys and reports! If you gave your organization a low grade, you might want to consider participating in an upcoming webinar series that will help your campus jump start discussions to create a
Career-Centered College Culture
Ready for the list of 25?
Here we go…
- Maguire Associates & Chronicle of Higher Education, What Do Presidents Think? Found that more than 80 percent of college presidents think they are doing well in providing academic programs to meet economic needs. However, more than 60 percent of employers say they find it difficult or very difficult finding qualified candidates to fill jobs.
- The American Association of College Accreditation survey reported that 39% of business leaders say colleges do an “only fair” or “poor” job of preparing students for their business careers.
- The Career Advisory Board (CAB) Job Preparedness Study found reported that 48.1% of career center directors thought their students did not have the knowledge they needed to find jobs.
- The Heldrich Center for Workforce Development’s report, Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy showed that 58% of recent graduates thought their career centers did not adequately prepare them for their job searches.
- TalentMarks survey of recent grads showed that 95 percent of graduates don’t have clear job search strategies, if they have any at all.
- A National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Preparedness Indicator Study survey showed that 61% of graduating SENIORS either never went to the career center or only went once or twice.
- Chegg and McKinsey’s Voice of the Graduate report showed that 53 percent of graduates would have done something differently. For example, they would have chosen different majors, or gone to different colleges.
- The Associated Press survey showed approximately 1.5 million or 53% of graduates, aged 25 or younger, are either unemployed or underemployed.
- The Center for College Affordability and Productivity research found that as many as 33 percent of college grads are in jobs today that historically have been filled by people without college degrees.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Are Recent Graduates Finding Good Jobs? reported that a full 44 percent of recent college graduates were underemployed.
- Barnes and Noble’s CareerNow survey found that 66% of students are concerned about having the skills necessary to perform their jobs well.
- Education Sector, an independent think-tank, found that 37 percent of college students graduate in four years and less than two-thirds of grads finish in six years.
- Higher Education Research Institute’s Freshman Survey. which surveys millions of incoming freshman, saw more than 88 percent of incoming freshmen indicating they are going to college as a hedge to improve their employability.
- Chronicle Magazine & American Public Media Marketplace’s report, The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, found that 34 percent of managers gave a “poor” to “fair” rating on colleges’ abilities to produce successful employees.
- Accenture’s College Graduate Employment Survey found that 48 percent of graduates would have fared better in the job market with different majors.
- McKinsey’s Education to Employment study found that 45% of US employers say lack of skills is the “main reason” for entry-level vacancies and that only 42% of worldwide employers believe new graduates are adequately prepared for work.
- CAB’s Job Preparedness Indicator Study found that only 14% of hiring managers report “nearly all” or “most” job candidates had the skills their companies look for in potential employees.
- Workforce Solutions Group‘s State of St. Louis Workforce 2013 Report showed that nearly 6 out of 10 employers felt that job applicants were lacking in soft skills.
- Lumina Foundation/Gallup poll‘s Higher Ed Survey College & University Chief Academic Officers Report found that just 11 percent of business leaders strongly agreed that graduates have the necessary skills and competencies to succeed in the workplace.
- The Marketplace & Chronicle of Higher Education says one-third of employers say colleges are doing a “fair” to “poor” job of producing successful employees.
- The Olson Zaltman report, What Alumni Expect from Their Undergraduate Alma Mater, indicated alumni want help in the transitions of their lives.
- The Alumni Attitude Study that has surveyed millions of alumni for a decade has consistently shown that alumni rate their colleges poorly for career support.
- A Bentley University survey found that three-quarters of hiring managers complain that millennials – even those with college degrees – aren’t prepared for the job market and lack adequate “work ethic.” The study found that a wide range of business professionals, including academics, feel that recent college graduates deserve a grade of “C” or LOWER for preparedness for their first jobs.
- The Maguire & Chronicle of Higher Education report, Shaping the Class, found that enrollment managers are seeing more families ask more questions about the value of college, and admissions officials report that their institutions are most effective at proving the value of experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom, but least effective at aligning academic programs with the needs of the job market.
- Fidelity’s Cost-Conscious College Graduates Study found that 70 percent of the class of 2013 graduated with an average debt of $35,200 (federal, state, private, family, & credit cards)
Do you think there is a problem here?
There is a common theme from these surveys and reports that suggest career center professionals, students, grads, hiring authorities, and government agencies are looking to college administrators to make careers a priority!
It will be worth the effort.
Focusing on careers will be the least expensive, yet best, investment of time, resources, and talents that your college will have made in the past decade! When you help students launch successful careers and alumni lead successful careers, everything from enrollment to contributions will INCREASE!
What are your thoughts? What reports and surveys would you add to this list?
Interested in continuing this conversation?
Join us in an invitation-only webinar series that will look at how you can create a career-centered college campus.