This is an exciting time of year for America’s young people. Nearly 4 million people will receive an accredited degree from an academic institution in the United States this year, according to the US Department of Education. Regardless of how long it took them or where they studied, these young men and women should feel proud of their accomplishments and excited to put their training and expertise to work.
But as we all know, today’s college graduates face an uncertain future as they enter the workforce. Most of us know about the soft job market that they are entering. But what recent studies have shown is that the private sector is equally concerned about the knowledge and skill levels of these graduates as they enter the workforce.
A recently released study by Northeastern University, FTI Consulting FCN +3.18% and the New England Council lays out the challenges, and conflicting messages, that Corporate America is sending to universities about how they should prepare their students. In this study, 73% of C-Suite executives in the United States surveyed strongly believed that there was a skills gap and that most college graduates lack the most important skills they need to succeed. An even larger percentage, 96%, believed that higher education itself will need to innovate in order to remain the global standard. American business leaders are divided in their expectations of whether college graduates will be more, less or equally prepared for the workforce in the next decade.