On Monday, the American InterContinental University announced that the results of a recent survey indicate that over 30% of employers feel that their new candidates for hire are more qualified than were new job seekers of the past.
In August of 2007, the University commissioned an online study to be conducted in metropolitan Atlanta due to that city’s explosive rate of economic growth. The study surveyed 250 employers’ and managers’ satisfaction with recently hired employees and included companies ranging in size from less than 50 employees to over 5000.
Among the sometimes surprising findings of the study were: 90% of those surveyed expressed satisfaction with their new employees’ level and quality of education, with 91% that their new hires could make a significant contribution to the organization immediately; one out of three of those surveyed feel that new hires are more qualified than were those of five years ago; while “responsibility” and “communication” skills are highly important qualities, being a “team player” is way, way down in priority for hiring managers; and, most hiring managers would like to see more candidates arrive with a bachelor degree in hand, with 75% agreeing that additional external skills training and certificate classes are needed.
“One concern of mine is the ability of colleges and universities to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of industry. The American business community can change at warp speed, especially in a high-growth region…It also concerns me that, while many employers indicate that they would like to see more education and training opportunities for current employees, a relatively small percentage of employers contribute financially to continuing education. This shortfall in employer funding assistance seems to be most true in relation to online education – which is the growth area in higher education circles. This disconnect could, in the long run, lead to a downturn in the very opportunities that employers indicate they want to see for employees,” said Dr. George Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the AIU.
Critics of the current United States education system say that while the politicians of both major parties continue to emphasize bolstering colleges and universities with more subsidies and using grade school and high school programs like “No Child Left Behind” to send more young people off to higher education, there are already problems with there being too many under-qualified people entering colleges and universities already.
Professors routinely complain about the current low levels of writing skills, reading comprehension, and basic math and science understanding possessed in general by incoming freshman. Research has uncovered that college graduates who only did marginally well in their classes are not earning much more than people who entered the workforce straight out of high school.
The critics contend that trying to send everyone to college, and trying to do so at the same time (that is, when everyone reaches 18 or 19), is simply unrealistic and wasteful of a great deal of money and energy, as not all people are equal in ability or rate of maturity, and some people simply are not interested enough in “higher education” to be able to sustain a worthwhile effort if they go to college.
Some business researchers and economists have suggested that many people in this latter group would benefit themselves and the nation greatly if they were able to receive specialized training in becoming entrepreneurs, especially given that some people are far more productive when they feel like they are working for themselves instead of working just to collect a paycheck.
American InterContinental University (Business Wire), “Employers Believe Today’s Job Candidates Better Equipped Than Candidates From the Past”