What do employers really want from college grads?
by Amy Scott
March 4, 2013
In our survey of about 700 employers around the country, nearly a third said colleges are doing a “fair” to “poor” job of producing “successful employees.” Despite persistently high unemployment, more than half of the employers said they had trouble finding qualified candidates for job openings.
David Boyes … runs a technology consulting firm called Sine Nomine Associates. That’s Latin for “without a name.”
Boyes sounds like a lot of the employers who responded to our survey. More than half of them said they have trouble finding qualified people for job openings. They said recent grads too often don’t know how to communicate effectively. And they have trouble adapting, problem solving and making decisions – things employers say they should have learned in college.
That’s why everyone Boyes hires goes through a year-long training program. “The company puts probably about a quarter of a million dollars into every single new hire,” Boyes says. “But that’s the kind of value that we get out of it.”
The training covers basics – like how to write an effective business document – and throws in some philosophy and history
“We ask people to read Cato the Elder,” Boyes says. “We ask people to read Suetonius.”
Jobseekers, take note: you better brush up on your on your early Roman history.
“We do that because we ask them to look at the process – the abstract process – of organizing ideas,” Boyes says.
Sounds a lot like an argument for liberal arts education, at a time when more students are being told to study science and technology as a path to a career. Maguire Associates, the firm that conducted the survey, says the findings suggest colleges should break down the “false dichotomy of liberal arts and career development,” saying they’re “intrinsically linked.”
Or, as Boyes puts it: “We don’t need mono-focused people. We need well-rounded people.” And that’s from a tech employer.
Read the full article at http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/education/what-do-employers-really-want-college-grads
Read a related article at http://chronicle.com/article/The-Employment-Mismatch/137625#id=overview