Fewer than half of college students are ready for the workforce

Just 41 percent of U.S. college students say they feel either very or extremely prepared to enter the workforce, according to a new survey.

And while the number of students feeling reasonably prepared doesn’t crack the 50 percent mark, it’s still a significant increase from 2017, when just 29 percent of students said they felt very prepared, according to the fifth annual McGraw-Hill Education Future Workforce Survey.

Men seem to feel significantly more prepared for their careers than women, the study reveals–50 percent of make students say they are very or extremely prepared for their careers, compared to just 36 percent of female students. Non-traditional students also report significantly higher levels of confidence–half of these students said they felt well-prepared, compared to 34 percent of traditional students.…Read More

Using workforce data to improve student outcomes

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? This seemingly innocuous question gets pretty weighty for college students as they make the decisions that could easily determine their life’s trajectory. And while some students are clear on their career choices, others need more information and guidance, such as which courses will best equip them with the skills employers value and whether their chosen profession will remain in demand.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute indicates that for young college graduates, the unemployment rate is 5.3 percent, while the underemployment rate is 11.1 percent in 2018. While that’s good news for around 80 percent of graduates, it still leaves one-fifth who are not finding suitable post-college employment. Perhaps even more alarming is a Gallup study that found “a crisis of confidence” among most students regarding their readiness to launch careers, specifically:

  • Only a third of students believe they will graduate with the skills and knowledge to be successful in the job market (34 percent) and in the workplace (36 percent).
  • Just half (53 percent) believe their major will lead to a good job.

At a time when higher education institutions are being held increasingly accountable for student outcomes and striving to prove their worth as an investment, the six-year completion rate for those who enrolled in 2011 was 56.9 percent. This number indicates that colleges and universities could be doing more to ensure that students see tangible value from their education in the form of a defined career path.…Read More