Standards of Colleges and Businesses Are At Odds

It should come as no surprise to some that what employers expect out of applicants and what colleges and universities think employers expect out of applicants are starkly different.

For instance, U.S. News reported that in a Gallup poll, it was found that 84 percent of business leaders said that a potential employee’s knowledge is important. Now out of all the chief academic officers surveyed in a previous poll, 96 percent said that they’re confident that their students are prepared for the workforce, but only 11 percent of the employers surveyed in the Gallup poll agreed with that. Ouch! That’s got to hurt. It sounds to me that the standards of both are at odds with one another.

An overwhelming majority of Americans (90%) believe that more people should be going to college, but at the same time, many of those Americans (89%) realize that colleges aren’t doing enough to prepare students for the workforce. It sounds kind of moronic to me that we would be pushing students to take advantage of a system that doesn’t even work, especially if half those people (49%) don’t even see any positive change taking place. Now are there changes being made? Sure, but they’re so small and gradual that they’re hardly significant.

The problem, like it’s stated in the article, most likely lies in the fact that colleges aren’t very clear in what they’re preparing students for (because they obviously don’t know themselves) and the public isn’t very clear in articulating what needs to be done differently. In other words, we’re looking at a giant tangled mess of a knot and nobody knows where to start. It’s a mess that’s been piling up on top of itself for years and it’s only until recently that we’ve found that our education system isn’t where it needs to be

Consequently, it’ll take years before the problem gets sorted out. So what needs to be done to get everything sorted out? I believe what would work is if we were to focus more attention on teaching life skills and the sorts and weigh a little less importance on the academics. But then again, I could postulate and theorize all day on the issue; whether that’s going to help get the knot untied, I have no clue.