Connecting Students to Jobs

College graduates today face not only the problem of a job-hunting in a slow economy, but also the problem of finding the job that matches their skills. On the same note, corporations and other employers are having trouble finding workers the skills they need. The Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and into Careers, which brought together leaders in industry and education, released a report on April 19 detailing these findings as well as recommendations for universities, employers, and policymakers.

Graduate students, graduate school deans, and employers were surveyed in the report on topics such as desired career paths, career guidance, and employer expectations. The main issue addressed was the lack of clear pathways for graduate students entering the workforce. In the Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers background video that accompanied the report and briefing, President and CEO of the Educational Testing Service Kurt M. Landgraf stated that these “pathways are not clear” to anyone in the chain.

Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, agreed that there was a need for “greater transparency” because the information that graduate students need “is not collected in any way that would ensure that a student knows exactly what the pathways could be.”

A ScienceInsider article highlighted one cause of this issue as the faculty advisers who are “more likely to recommend academic careers than careers in industry, entrepreneurship, the nonprofit sector, or government.” Another problem is the lack of “soft skills” among recent graduates – communication, teamwork, and project management, to name a few.

Besides stronger government programs for advising and training, the report recommended schools to encourage students to find internships for exploring possible career paths. Internships not only allow students to test out new options and gain exposure to the professional world, but also to develop a broad set of skills that employers require.

 

Posted by: Pokyee Yu

Sources: The Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and into Careers, ScienceInsider

Photo Credit: The Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and into Careers

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