More on the College-Employer Mismatch

A brief update to Joe Jaeger’s post on political science degrees and what employers want:

Women WorkersToday’s online New York Times has an interesting article on the lack of communication between employers and colleges on what the former expects and what the latter provides. The two seem to be talking past each other, if they are talking at all. Employers are reluctant to provide expensive on-the-job training; they want new hires to be productive and profitable right out of the box. In contrast, most colleges and universities seek to provide undergraduate students with broad communication and thinking skills that don’t necessarily lend themselves to immediate application in a specific job — and that’s probably a good thing, since students who spend four years learning how to sell widgets will probably find upon graduation that no one buys widgets anymore.

One would assume that internships would be the solution to this problem, but according to the article, the vast majority of internship experiences are too short and too simplistic.

The most telling information, which was originally published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, was that in 2008 the Boeing Company (the people who make the big airplanes) “ranked colleges based on how well their graduates performed within the corporation,” and then presented this information to the colleges in question. Some colleges partnered with the company to change their curricula, while others did nothing. Boeing adjusted its recruitment of new college graduates accordingly.


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