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    The StratEDgy blog is intended to be a thoughtful hub for discussion about strategy and competition in higher education.

Making Higher Education Work
December 5, 2012 - 9:35pm

Quick: What percentage of employers believes that the graduates of post-secondary education they hired in the past year have been adequately prepared for the job market?

42%.

And what percentage of young people believe that they were adequately prepared for an entry-level position in their chosen field of study?  45%.

And now, what percentage of postsecondary education providers believe that graduates from their institution are adequately prepared for entry-level positions in their chosen field of study?  72%.

Education to Employment, a new report by McKinsey from which these data are taken, is a great read, whether the full report or the executive summary.  The findings are based on surveys across nine countries (Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States) with 4,656 young people (aged 15 to 29) employed or nearing graduation, 2,832 employers, and 908 postsecondary education providers.  

According to the report, the disconnect between what employers, students and education providers believe about work-readiness stems, in large part, from a lack of engagement across the three groups.  From the report:

“One-third of employers say they never communicate with education providers; of those that do, fewer than half say it proved effective.  Meanwhile, more than a third of education providers report that they are unable to estimate the job-placement rates of their graduates.  Of those who say they can, 20 percent overestimated this rate compared with what was reported by youth themselves.  Nor are youth any better informed: fewer than half say that when they chose what to study they had a good understanding of which disciplines lead to professions with job openings and good wage levels.” 

I hope you will all read the report and that it spurs a lot of discussion at the highest levels – of government, of businesses, and of higher education institutions.  It seems that now is the time for some serious dialogue. 

 

 

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