College students: high in self-confidence but low in basic work skills

Today’s college students have been hit hard by the recession, but they exhibit a remarkable self-confidence that may outpace their skills for coping with the road that lies ahead, the Christian Science Monitor reports. This generation has its strengths, but independence and a clear sense of what’s expected in the working world are lacking, according to the new book “Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Students,” which draws on national surveys and visits to more than 30 campuses around the United States.

“They’re trying to precariously balance between their dreams and hopes for the future and the reality of diminished prospects,” says Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and co-author with Diane Dean, an education professor at Illinois State University.

They may have trouble coping in a competitive economy because they “lack the ability to deal with adversity, or even imagine adversity,” Mr. Levine says. “Whenever they’ve gotten into trouble, their parents have been there to bail them out.”

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