Employers remain confident in the value of higher education but continue to think new graduates lack the skills needed to succeed in the workplace, according to a survey of nearly 500 executives and hiring managers.
It is the Association of American Colleges and Universities' seventh survey of employers, and past iterations showed a similar disconnect between companies and colleges.
However, the latest findings show graduates are getting better at communicating their skills and that employers' views vary by age.
The survey only included organizations in which at least a quarter of entry-level roles are filled by people with an associate or bachelor's degree. Most are privately held. The largest share of all the firms polled — around a quarter — are in the technology sector, followed by finance (12%).
Employers continue to value skills AAC&U presents as the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. But, as with its past surveys, the findings highlight a disconnect between abilities employers think are important and those they say new graduates bring to work.
The gaps were the biggest for critical thinking, data analysis and interpretation, and applying knowledge to real-world settings, according to the survey. Those are among the top five skills responding employers deemed "very important." [for the full analysis, please visit HR Dive]