Recruiting, Talent

4 Current College Trends and Practices that Are Hindering Workforce Readiness

According to a recent survey, only about a third of college students feel like they’re prepared and that they’ll graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the job market and in the workplace. And there’s good reason for this because, unfortunately, there are currently four college trends and practices that are hindering workforce

1. Lack of Formal Career-Oriented Mentorships and External Partnerships

Many college students don’t speak often, or at all, with faculty members about their postgraduation career options. And administrative staff or university officials don’t make it a point to talk to them about their options either.
This is especially problematic because over 50% of current college grads are the first in their families to graduate from college, which means that they aren’t usually able to receive this type of guidance or support outside of their college or university.
In addition, many higher-education institutions don’t hold strategic partnerships with external organizations or companies for internship opportunities, career mentorship opportunities, etc. And this leaves most college students unsure of their career prospects or what type of work they should pursue after they get their degrees. Students aren’t often offered structured programs or practical pathways to careers that are relevant to what they’re studying.

2. Common Core Standards

Most higher-education institutions still require students to submit standardized test scores for them to be considered and admitted. And many elementary schools and high schools are preparing students for college via common core standards.
However, research is now indicating that standardized tests and common core standards are hindering students from succeeding in college, as well as in the real day-to-day workforce. Many employers and supervisors now claim that common core standards don’t appropriately prepare students for the real-world workforce at all.

3. Low Student Retention Rates

According to research highlighted by Deloitte, for full-time students who started work toward a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in 2008, only 60% graduated within 6 years—by 2014.
And at public institutions, the 6-year graduation rate hovers around 58%; at private, nonprofit institutions, it’s 65%, while at private, for-profit institutions, it’s only 27%.
Low student retention rates leave students ill-prepared to join the workforce, as many college students end up only receiving a partial education and never receive an official degree, along with a large amount of student debt that is difficult for them to pay off.

4. High Cost of Tuition and Debt

Did you know that 68% of 2015 bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with student loan debt, at an average of $30,100 per borrower? And that’s only when you consider those who actually graduated with a degree and not those who didn’t complete their degrees.
Ultimately, many students are ill-prepared for the workforce once they graduate because they’re more concerned with figuring out how they’ll pay off their student loans. It’s difficult for them to wait for the appropriate career opportunities they are trained for when they’re more concerned with simply making money and making ends meet and not defaulting on their loans.
As you work to recruit and train recent college graduates or young adults, be sure to keep the above information in mind.

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