Employers Want Broadly Educated New Hires

Students worried about landing a job after graduation might be attracted to a narrow education that focuses on building their knowledge in one area. But that isn’t enough to help them pursue successful careers, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

The group released its latest survey of employers on Wednesday, and it is using the findings to bolster a new compact between college presidents and employers that advocates a broad, liberal-arts education for all.

A report on the survey findings, “It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success,” comes to some of the same conclusions as a recent survey of employers conducted by The Chronicle. Both surveys found that a considerable share of employers don’t think colleges are doing a very good job of preparing graduates for work. Unlike The Chronicle’s survey, the association’s considers recent graduates with either two- or four-year degrees.

The AAC&U survey also shows employers’ support for the idea that students should be broadly educated and should apply their learning to the real world during college. More than half of employers indicated that recent college graduates should have “both field-specific knowledge and skills and a broad range of skills and knowledge.” (The report is based on an online survey of 318 employers conducted in January.) <Read more.>

Via Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.