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College graduates not prepared for work.
Wednesday, 2nd April 2014
Source : Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist

Across the globe, employers are increasingly wrestling with a major issue: young people are graduating from colleges and universities not workforce ready, not prepared to take the jobs for which employers need them.

In a recent survey by The Gallup Organization, 66 percent business leaders "have doubts that higher education institutions in the United States are graduating students who meet their particular businesses' needs".

The proof of this global phenomenon lies in a new business that has recently appeared on the scene---selling employability training to employers to provide this needed upskilling in most of the Asian countries. Employers there have already found graduates unprepared and the list growing. In India, as typically fewer graduates merit employing versus 50 to 60 percent in countries like Japan and Germany.

More recently, last year Aspiring Minds conducted a youth employability study in India and discovered that 47 percent of the respondents were "not worth recruiting", because they lacked English fluency and basic skills like problem solving or facility with computer software.

In the US, youth lack life skills as well. Due to the Great Recession, many have graduated without ever having held a steady job and simply do not have an understanding of the importance of things like being on-time and showing up every day.

What/who is responsible? We believe it is a combination of the economic slowdown, under-resourced schools, and a lack of the right vocational training to develop job-relevant skills. Moreover, there is an obvious disconnect between what business leaders believe they need and what institutions of higher education think they are producing. In a separate Gallup study for "Inside Higher Ed", 96 percent of chief academic officers at higher education institutions said their institutions were "very or somewhat effective at preparing students for the world of work."

Enter a Singapore-based company eHelium. Their core business is recruitment and training with particular focus on "Graduate Employability and Market Readiness". In Asia, every year up to 75 percent or more of the 24 million graduates of institutions of higher education are not market ready with the skills that employers require. Working through these institutions and some multinationals, they will help prepare the graduating youth for the workplace.

In the United States, a handful of colleges and universities, including the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and High Point University have been offering these types of courses for years. Our forecast is that more institutions of higher education worldwide will focus on this transition, by either developing their own courses or embracing suppliers like eHelium.

Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or

The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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