A large majority of the Amer­ican public and nearly three-​​quarters of busi­ness leaders say it is more impor­tant for job can­di­dates to be well-​​rounded with a range of abil­i­ties than to have industry-​​specific skills, two new national sur­veys released Tuesday show.

A July survey of 263 hiring man­agers and an August poll of 1,000 Amer­ican adults con­ducted by FTI Con­sulting on behalf of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity show that majori­ties of the public and busi­ness leaders value broadly applic­able skills like written com­mu­ni­ca­tion and problem-​​solving over spe­cific skills obtained through applied training.

Still, the poll found that Amer­i­cans over­whelm­ingly want col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to focus on inte­grating prac­tical expe­ri­ence, such as intern­ships, into their cur­ricu­lums. In large num­bers, both busi­ness leaders and the gen­eral public agreed that stu­dents with intern­ship and other work-​​related expe­ri­ence tend to be more suc­cessful in their careers.

On broader ques­tions about the state of U.S. higher edu­ca­tion, respon­dents to the poll affirmed the value of higher edu­ca­tion but 62 per­cent said that the cur­rent system is doing only a fair or poor job of preparing col­lege grad­u­ates for the work force.

 

Read the article at Inside Higher Ed →