Are Recent Grads Really Ready to Join the Workforce?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — One year into the so-called “real world,” Gigi Peccolo realizes there are things college did and didn't help prepare her to face.

“College, but really school in general, taught me how to juggle a lot of separate but important responsibilities,” said the 22-year-old Denver resident. “In college, you have to make sure you have all your homework done for each class. That same kind of logic extends to the working world, only instead of trying to get a good grade for yourself, you’re trying to help the business succeed as a whole.”

However, Peccolo also never learned the basics of email marketing or how to design a white paper in college, essential skills for for her job as a content manager at OneReach, a cloud communications platform.

“You have to rise to the occasion, and apply the skills you’ve learned to something new,” she added.

While companies are planning to hire more recent college graduates like Peccolo — with a quarter saying they will pay starting salaries greater than $50,000 — many employers still worry new college grads may not be ready for the real world, according to a new survey by

More than one in five companies do not feel colleges are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their company, and more than 45% of prospective new employers said they believe college places too much emphasis on book learning and not real world learning. Nearly 40% said they need workers with a better blend of technical skills and soft skills gained from liberal arts studies. College grads, employers said, lacked interpersonal or people skills, problem-solving skills, oral communication and leadership - perhaps illustrating that time investment in college has not paid off.

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