Every summer, like clockwork, more than 2 million students graduate and expect to enter the workforce ready to excel in their careers. But according to the results of McGraw-Hill Education’s third annual Workforce Readiness Survey, only 40% of college seniors feel their college experience has been very helpful in preparing for a career. In fact, while students report that they are increasingly satisfied with their overall college experience (79% in 2016, compared to 65% in 2014), an increasing percentage report that they would have preferred their schools to provide:
- More internships and professional experiences (67% in 2016, compared to 59% in 2014).
- More time to focus on career preparation (59% in 2016, compared to 47% in 2014).
- Better access to career preparation tools (47% in 2016, compared to 38% in 2014).
- More alumni networking opportunities (34% in 2016, compared to 22% in 2014).
The McGraw-Hill Education’s Workforce Readiness Survey also reports, in planning for their job search, students value their “soft skills,” but indicate that those skills could be developed further:
- When asked to identify skills that make them attractive job seekers, students are more likely to cite their interpersonal skills (78%) than any other attribute, including grades/GPA (67%), a degree in a marketable field (67%) and internship experience (60%).
- The majority say they haven’t learned how to network or search for a job (59%) or how to conduct themselves in a job interview (58%) during college.
A significant portion of students says they are unsure their major will help them get a job:
- 2Â in 5Â say they are happy with their major but are unsure that it will get them a job when they graduate, and 22% say choosing a more relevant major would make them feel more prepared for their professional career.
- Only 41% report that skills in their major are in high demand, and only 20% say companies often recruit graduates of their major directly out of college.