Graduates Are Prepared for Work

Employers report that recent graduates have the skills they need.

Today’s graduates generally have the tools and skills they need to succeed in the workplace, according to new research by Bentley University of Waltham, Massa­chusetts, and Anderson Robbins Research. A survey of more than 1,000 employers, educators, current students, and recent graduates shows that, while those new to the workforce worry that their skills and experience will be insufficient, 78 percent of employers believe recent graduates are qualified.

This is a significant change from three years ago, when in a survey commissioned by Bentley, employers and corporate recruiters gave college graduates a C for preparedness. What’s changed? Survey analysts believe that in the past five to ten years, universities have shifted away from traditional teaching formats to what Bentley calls “the extended classroom.” This includes a combination of classroom learning and relevant fieldwork. In addition, 67 percent of educators place a greater emphasis on technology today.

“Many educators have seen the chang­es happening in the workplace and made the necessary adjustments to their course content and teaching methods,” says Gloria Cordes Larson, president of Bentley University. “More colleges and universi­ties are extending learning beyond the classroom by stressing the importance of internships, partnering with outside orga­nizations to bring real business challenges onto campus, and utilizing programs like service learning and study abroad to teach students leadership and independence.”

Read the research report, “Do today’s graduates have the skills to succeed?” at www.bentley.edu/prepared/extended­classroom-responding-changing­job-market.

This article appeared in print in the March/April 2017 issue.