Majority of Companies Plan to Hire Recent College Graduates This Year, But Are Those Graduates Prepared?

April 24, 2014 Updated Apr 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM EDT

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Credit: MGN Online

Majority of Companies Plan to Hire Recent College Graduates This Year, But Are Those Graduates Prepared?

April 24, 2014 Updated Apr 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM EDT

(CareerBuilder news release) 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.

According to the CareerBuilder news release:

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).

Which college majors are most in demand?

As with years past, demand for business and technical majors remains high. The most sought-after majors this year include:

· Business – 39 percent

· Computer and Information Sciences – 28 percent

· Engineering – 18 percent

· Math and Statistics – 14 percent

· Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences – 14 percent

· Communications Technologies – 12 percent

· Engineering Technologies – 11 percent

· Education – 7 percent

· Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies, and Humanities – 10 percent

· Science Technologies – 7 percent

· Communication and Journalism – 7 percent

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