40% of College Seniors Feel Their College Experience Prepared
Career Education

Only 40 Percent of College Seniors Feel Their College Experience Prepared Them For a Career

(Image: iStock.com/CREATISTA)

Every summer, like clockwork, more than 2 million students graduate and expect to enter the workforce ready to excel in their careers. But according to the results of McGraw-Hill Education’s third annual Workforce Readiness Survey, only 40% of college seniors feel their college experience has been very helpful in preparing for a career. In fact, while students report that they are increasingly satisfied with their overall college experience (79% in 2016, compared to 65% in 2014), an increasing percentage report that they would have preferred their schools to provide:

  • More internships and professional experiences (67% in 2016, compared to 59% in 2014).
  • More time to focus on career preparation (59% in 2016, compared to 47% in 2014).
  • Better access to career preparation tools (47% in 2016, compared to 38% in 2014).
  • More alumni networking opportunities (34% in 2016, compared to 22% in 2014).

The McGraw-Hill Education’s Workforce Readiness Survey also reports, in planning for their job search, students value their “soft skills,” but indicate that those skills could be developed further:

  • When asked to identify skills that make them attractive job seekers, students are more likely to cite their interpersonal skills (78%) than any other attribute, including grades/GPA (67%), a degree in a marketable field (67%) and internship experience (60%).
  • The majority say they haven’t learned how to network or search for a job (59%) or how to conduct themselves in a job interview (58%) during college.

A significant portion of students says they are unsure their major will help them get a job:

  • 2 in 5 say they are happy with their major but are unsure that it will get them a job when they graduate, and 22% say choosing a more relevant major would make them feel more prepared for their professional career.
  • Only 41% report that skills in their major are in high demand, and only 20% say companies often recruit graduates of their major directly out of college.

Read more: MHEducation