A new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), reviewed in the February 23 edition of Inside Higher Ed, cites the discrepancy between students’ ratings of their proficiencies and ratings by employers. The report expresses concern that “employers see skill gaps in key areas where college students don’t think gaps exist.” In the area of professionalism/work ethic, 89.4 percent of students considered themselves proficient, while only 42.5 percent of employers did. The difference in ratings of leadership skills was fairly stark as well: 70.5 percent of students rated themselves as proficient, compared to only 33 percent of employers.
The Inside Higher Ed article cites surveys by Gallup and the Association of American Colleges and Universities that present similar findings: employers do not feel college graduates are well prepared in the skill areas important to employers. One suggested remedy is to expose students to professional settings through internships and co-op programs. As more students earn a Passport, it may help serve as a filter for employers looking for certain knowledge and skill levels.
The Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update report is available to members through MyNACE.