Feeling (Un)prepared for the Labor Force

Graduating seniors on how they feel their education has prepared them for the labor force

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Only 36 percent of undergraduate students believe their schools prepared them to be successful in the workplace, according to a recent survey from Gallup and Strada Education Network.

Employers agree — most graduates aren’t ready. In a recent study conducted by PayScale, it was revealed that more than half of all companies said new graduates lack critical thinking skills and do not pay attention to detail.  Forty four percent of companies also found problems with graduates’ writing proficiency, and 39 percent were skeptical of their public speaking ability.

Yet, high schoolers are enrolling in higher education at increasingly high rates. Between the years 2000 and 2009, about 73 percent of incoming freshman enrolled in college in order to get a better job after graduation. There is also a continuous increase in the demand for highly educated workers, making job preparation a critical component of higher education.

To learn more about this, City on a Hill Press talked with seniors around campus to see whether or not they felt ready for the workforce.

CHP: How do you feel like your education here has prepared you for the job market?

Aileen Voskanian

Stevenson, Molecular cellular and developmental biology

I wish [the university] would’ve prepared me more, to be honest. Because I’m going into the medical field, and as a graduating senior I have yet to take a class that has to deal with that field. I’ve met a lot of my friends and people I know that I’m close to that are all in the same thing and we wish there were accommodations to those kinds of students to learn more about maybe what medical school has to offer and get us prepared for that.

Juan Mendez

Rachel Carson College, Biology

I’ll be honest, I don’t feel too prepared. In a way it’s because I myself have not prepared the way I’ve seen others prepare. Mostly because, I’ve had trouble. Like in my first year in college I had a little bit of trouble with guidance and how to navigate the college system and what exactly to do, for example, stuff like undergrad research. […] And most of the time if you don’t have stuff like undergrad research it’s hard to get things like letters of recommendation if you wanna go grad school or just get basic experience if you want to get an entry level job fresh out of college. I guess it’s a little bit of both. A little bit of myself but at the same time it’s a lack of guidance as well.

Consuelo Marino

Porter, Feminist studies

Indirectly, pursuing higher education and coming to college and a lot of the organizations I’ve been involved in and the internships that I’ve been able to be a part of are going to help me because I personally want to pursue counseling, like a masters in counseling. Right now I’m interning with the Ally program at the DRC and it’s really connected to what I want to do, and I don’t think I would have necessarily done that otherwise. […]More directly, with school, I would say like, for me, writing a 20 page paper, and having to use different theories, and being able to come up with and take my own stance will help me hopefully.

Ashley Weedman

Cowell, Literature

I feel like certain aspects of what we’ve been discussing in classes hasn’t necessarily been that beneficial in terms of finding a job. My biggest concern has been how do I go about searching for a job. All I’ve really resourced has been Craigslist thus far. Even though I’m not looking to get the best job straight out of school, it would have been nice to feel like someone prepared me better for that.