According to a recent study graduates with majors such as Computer Science are facing difficulties securing jobs, especially those with poor communication skills and the inability to interact confidently as part of a team.
This study revealed that the majority of employers looked for graduates with soft skills, including confidence and the ability to be analytical at the initial recruitment stage. This was favoured over technical skills, many of which are possessed by maths, science and engineering majors. When asked to rank a list of 30 competencies required or desired by employers, technical knowledge ranked 24th, whilst effective communication ranked 1st. Further soft skills such as being a team player ranked 3rd, confidence ranked 5th and the ability to be analytical ranked 6th.
Two-thirds of new jobs in the US are in the services sector, such as hospitality and require dealing with people, with employers prioritizing the soft skills required in everyday business, no matter the job role.
The study, Graduate Recruitment, Learning and Development, published by education provider Kaplan, also discovered that 75% of employers found it either moderately or very difficult to find the right graduates for their positions. This helps to explain the influx of graduates who are seeking opportunities and starting their careers in professions outside of their major subject.
Although employers are more confident in the graduate talent pool and the skills they look for in them, the report by Kaplan also highlights how businesses are still not seeing enough candidates with the employability skills that they need.
The demand for more technical knowledge and skills has been declared to be more important post-employment, and rises from 24th to 2nd in ranking of skills priority after a graduate has been placed. Businesses were therefore happy to train their recruits in industry-specific knowledge and skills once they had been integrated within their company.