According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, this year’s graduates face a warm reception from the entry-level job market. Of the 2,186 employers surveyed, 67% indicated that they plan to hire recent college graduates. That’s the highest share since 2007. In addition, 37% of employers plan to offer higher compensation to recent graduates compared to the previous year.
However, it’s not all good news. Nearly one quarter of employers feel that recent college graduates may not be ready to fill the roles needed at their organizations—an increase from last year. These employers expressed three concerns in particular:
- Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 47%
- I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 39%
- Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 25%
Too often, students go to college for the sake of earning degrees, but haven’t thought much beyond that. What can colleges do to better prepare their students for the world of work? In short, help students set career goals early on so they can learn intentionally throughout their education.
Colleges with a guided pathways model, or similar approach, are at an advantage here. In these models, students identify their career goals shortly after enrolling, then focus on coursework that is relevant to their chosen career. This early focus gives students more time to identify what skills they need to succeed and prepare to enter the workforce. Mixing liberal arts with technical skills, guided pathways colleges present their students with academic programs that fit employer needs.
The success of this approaches hinges on students charting a career path early on. Colleges have seen great results using Career Coach to help students explore career possibilities and choose a path that suits them best. Once students identify what careers they want to pursue, they can see compensation rates, local demand, and typical required skills. Armed with that information, students can better prepare to enter the job market upon graduation.
View the full survey here.