A recent article in Inside Higher Ed, entitled “Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes,” summarizes an Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) survey that found—good news for liberal arts institutions like Lincoln!—that employers care less about student majors than they do about their range of general skills in thinking, communication, and team work.
It also found—here’s the negative side—that students leave college feeling they have gained better job skills than their employers judge them to have.
What struck me more than this perhaps-to-be-expected disconnect between student self-assessment and employer perceptions, however, was the table showing the skills that employers find least available.
Fewer than one-fifth of the employers surveyed agreed that college graduates are well prepared in
- working with people from different backgrounds (18%),
- staying current on global developments (18%), and
- foreign language proficiency (16%).
How do you think our Lincoln students fare against this national profile? What makes you think that? What are we doing to create/develop/enhance our students’ skills in these four underrepresented categories? What could we be doing better? If we were creating an academic master plan for the future, what must it include to ensure that our students leave college with the skills deemed necessary for success?