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April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Graduation season is upon us, and this year graduates can expect to find improving job prospects. A new study from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com finds that 57 percent of employers say they plan to hire new college graduates, up from 53 percent last year and up significantly from 44 percent in 2010.
While most employers believe recent college graduates are ready for the real world, nearly one in four (24 percent) don't feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for positions needed within their organizations.
"Education plays a critical role in bridging the skills gap and fostering a capable and productive workforce," said
Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "The vast majority of employers feel that the skills and knowledge base students gain at academic institutions are aligned with their company needs, but nearly one in four sense a disconnect. As roles within organizations grow more complex and demand for certain degrees outpaces graduation rates, there is an opportunity for employers to work more closely with schools to help guide learning experiences for the next generation of workers."
The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from
February 10 to March 4, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.
Why are they not prepared?
So why do some employers feel that college graduates are not up to task? The most common concerns include:
Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real world learning – 53 percent
My company needs a blend of technical skills and soft skills gained from liberal arts – 35 percent
Entry level roles are growing more complex – 26 percent
Not enough focus on internships/apprenticeships – 16 percent
Technology is changing too quickly for academics to keep up – 16 percent
Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs– 10 percent
What positions are they not prepared for?
According to employers, recent graduates are less prepared for certain business functions than others. Employers who do not feel students are adequately prepared are most concerned about roles tied to customer service (41 percent), public relations/communications (22 percent), business development (21 percent), sales (21 percent), general office functions (20 percent), and IT (18 percent).