Business & the Academy Not in Sync

“The survey, conducted by Gallup in partnership with the Lumina Foundation, indicates that just 11% of business leaders ‘strongly agree’ that today’s graduates have the skills and competencies that their businesses need. In contrast, a recent Gallup survey found that 96% of college and university chief academic officers said they were ‘extremely or somewhat confident’ in their institution’s ability to prepare students for work-force success.” (WSJ)

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kirov says:

    I am not surprised the figure “96%” but 11% does astonish me. What is wrong with the quality of education?

    • Andrew says:

      I’m sure companies are talking about the people who get a degree in underwater basket weaving and not engineering or any other practical degree.

  2. Ken W says:

    Well you are comparing the “strongly agree” answer with the “extremely and somewhat agree” answer. By adding the “somewhat agree” figure to the response of employers, the number would be much higher than 11 percent, although not close to the universities’ beliefs.

  3. Martin A says:

    Universities are teaching the theory, what it is supposed to be, what the textbooks say about the subject. Businesses are seeking employees that have the technical skills, which can start working and performing as other employees perform. There are issues from both sides. It is the universities’ fault not to teach the technical skills required in the labor force. The employers are expecting the similar levels of productivity from their new hires than to their other employees, and that is simply unthinkable.

    • Matthew says:

      I think employers understand that there will always be a learning curve with new hires straight out of college. That being said, universities offer few courses that enhance technical and working skills.

    • Charlie says:

      That is why internship is necessary.
      Actually, “11% of business leaders” indicates that the survey has ruled out other employers like universities, research companies, and think tanks. Business leaders always stare at “profits”.

  4. Blake R says:

    I would hope that the universities are happy with what they taught. It would be highly disappointing to read that 50 percent of universities don’t think that they are teaching what they are supposed to.

    • Jay says:

      As long as that tuition money is rolling in, they will say students always come out of college prepared.

      • Bill B. says:

        It is when the money stops is when they may have to change things around.

        • Chaz says:

          If tuition gets any higher, then the money will slow down. Most people see the benefit of college outweigh the cost, but once the cost gets high enough that may not be the case anymore.

    • Godiva says:

      So what are the “50%”? Are they all flagship public universities or leading private universities?

  5. Felix D says:

    Consider as well that maybe they are not teaching the required skills, but they are teaching the basics of the subject and that allows the new employee to quickly understand and perform what their employer is asking them to do. Having a degree from college will decrease the amount of training the new hire requires to start performing.