What are college graduate job skills?

One tends to read quite a bit, these days, about college graduate job skills (or the lack thereof).

Let me be very clear:  I do not believe you should enroll in college just to get a job.  

Neither should your major be a subject in which you have little or no interest only because the job prospects are good. College is much more.  It is a time to explore your interests and discover new talents. It’s a time to make life-long friendships.

The unemployment rate for college graduates was 3.8% last year. (High school graduates had an unemployment re of 7.4 %.)  But in a collaborative report between The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace, published in March of 2013, about 50% of 700 employers who participated in the study said they had trouble finding qualified college graduates to fill positions in their company. 

According to the employers in the study, college graduates need to have the following skills:

  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Flexibility
  • Knowing how retrieve and use information in a workplace situation.

College GuideThe New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get a Job recommends:

  • Be your own advocate.
  • Go through the list of employable skills as you progress from your first to last year.
  • Be certain you are the graduate that future employers need and want.

College Graduates Earn More, Get Better Jobs

mortar boardHow many articles have you read lately suggesting college graduates are no better off in the workforce than people without college degrees?

Articles questioning the “worth” of a college education seem to be plentiful in recent months.

Let’s take a look at some statistics and maybe this information will help some admission counselors respond when this question is asked: is a college degree worth the cost?

Positive Facts

According to an article written by Catherine Rampell in The New York Times last year:

  • The unemployment rate for college graduates last year was 3.9%, compared with a 7.5% unemployment rate for the work force as a whole. Among all segments of workers sorted by educational attainment, college graduates are the only group that has more people employed today than when the recession started.
  • The number of college-educated workers has increased by 9.1% since the beginning of the recession.
  • Employment for students who have some college credits, but not a degree, decreased since the beginning of the recession.
  • In 2012, the typical full-time worker with an undergraduate degree earned 79% more than a high school graduate. Thirty years earlier the percentage was 48%.
  • As of April 2011, about 32% of Americans had a college degree. Twenty years ago this statistic was 22%.
  • According to an analysis from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute in Washington, the benefits of a college education was equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2 % a year.
  • The media has focused on the minority of college graduates who are surfing the web looking for work, living in their parents’ basements and working in jobs that a short while ago, did not require a college degree. All that may be true for some graduates. It’s not true for all.

In next week’s blog you will read about the marriage of enrollment managers with career counselors to achieve enrollment success.

Capstone Vietnam Fall 2014 StudyUSA Higher Education Fairs

I am pleased to recommend Capstone Vietnam’s unique, customized StudyUSA Higher Education Fair series in fall 2014 that will cover five (5) cities in all three regions of the country, including Haiphong and Hanoi in the North, Danang in the center and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Vung Tau (high school mini-fairs only) in the South.  Follow this link for detailed information and online registration. Vietnam remains a hot market for U.S. colleges and universities.  It ranked 8th among all sending countries, 6th in undergraduate enrollment and 3rd in international enrollment at community colleges, according to the 2013 Open Doors international academic mobility report. Capstone Vietnam (PDF), a human resource development company with offices in Hanoi and HCMC, is led by Dr. Mark Ashwill, managing director. For more information, contact Mark at markashwill@capstonevietnam.com or send an email to fairs@capstonevietnam.com.  ​


This email is virus-free. In the meantime, you can find the answers to 100 questions about getting into college, getting out and landing a job in my book, The New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out & Get a Job.