• Employers Identify Four “Must Have” Career Readiness Competencies for College Graduates

    CONTACT: Kevin Gray, 610.868.1421, ext. 139
    Andrea Koncz, 610.868.1421, ext. 121
    E-MAIL: kgray@naceweb.org
    DATE: April 14, 2016
    SUBJECT: Employers Identify Four “Must Have” Career Readiness Competencies for College Graduates

    BETHLEHEM, PA—When asked to rate the career readiness competencies of college graduates in terms of “essential need,” employers regarded four competencies as vital, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s seven career readiness competencies represent the skills, experiences, and attributes that broadly prepare students for a successful transition into the work force. (Click here for the competencies and their definitions.)

    NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update survey found that employers deemed their top four career readiness competencies—critical thinking/problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, teamwork, and communications skills—to be between “essential” and “absolutely essential” in the college graduates they are looking to hire. (See Figure 1.)

    These results are consistent with those posted a year ago, indicating that these competencies are virtual “must haves.”

    Figure 1: Employers Rate Career Readiness Competencies in Terms of Essential Need (2016 vs. 2015)

    Competency Essential Need Rating
    2016 2015
    Critical Thinking/Problem Solving 4.7 4.7
    Professionalism/Work Ethic 4.7 4.5
    Teamwork 4.6 4.6
    Oral/Written Communications 4.4 4.4
    Information Technology Application 3.9 3.9
    Leadership 3.9 3.9
    Career Management 3.6 3.6
    Weighted average. Based on a 5-point scale where 1=Not essential; 2=Not very essential; 3=Somewhat essential; 4=Essential; 5=Absolutely essential.
    Source: Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About the Job Outlook Survey: The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues in order to project the market for new college graduates for the current class and to assess a variety of conditions that may influence that market.

    The survey is conducted in two parts: fall and spring. This release is based on data gathered in the spring. Data were collected from February 10, 2016, through March 22, 2016. A total of 144 NACE-member organizations participated; a 15.3 percent response rate.

    By region, 22.9 percent of respondents are from the Northeast, 27.8 percent are from the Southeast, 33.3 percent are from the Midwest, and 16.0 percent are from the West.

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit http://www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at http://www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx.