By Marc LeVine
The American economy is improving and businesses are on track to hire 5 percent more young workers in 2017 than they did in 2015. This sounds quite nice on the surface, but here is the reality: Today’s college grads are not well prepared to enter the workforce upon their graduation. They are often the “deers in the headlights” of our nation’s workforce when it comes to employment preparedness. And worse, these young grads don’t know what they don’t know, thinking a bit too highly of themselves as entry-level workforce contributors.
In fact, a recent survey from PayScale, a compensation data firm, found that even though 9 in 10 recent college grads believe they’re prepared for the workforce, only half the nation’s employers agree. As one of the survey’s authors explained, “the fundamentals of business… are not taught in our school systems”. This unfortunately includes most of our universities and colleges.
Most Teachers and Professors are as Ill-prepared for the Business World as Their Own Students
Part of the overall problem is that a majority of school teachers and FT college professors have NOT recently nor at all (never), worked in private industry. This makes it very difficult for them to effectively relate and properly convey – to their students – the ever-evolving needs of and diverse cultures found in today’s corporate America. Frankly, school teachers and college professors might be more valuable to their students, if THEY THEMSELVES were to “intern” or “sabbatical” at the businesses they are preparing their students to eventually work for.
Business and Education MUST Work More Closely Together.
Business and Industry MUST work more closely together to figure out additional and improved ways to bring themselves better in tune with each other. This, for the strict purpose of making education more relevant to the demands of the real business world.
We don’t necessarily need business and industry to run our education facilities; but it certainly would be helpful if they would share more practical knowledge and experience with public and private school educators on a regular, ongoing basis. Their direct input would be priceless to curriculum development for students and in-service training for teachers/instructors. Business and Industry Associations could serve as the intermediaries and clearing houses to initiate and keep these business-education relationships on track.
How We Already Know A Positive Outcome Is Possible.
Often, it’s the college adjunct or as I call them (the after hours) instructors that bring the most to the table. Why? Because they are either moonlighting in education, while they still have their day jobs. Or, they are recently retired and are still relevant in the business world. The value of adjunct instructors proves the need for better education and business world connectivity is real and important. Now, we just need to bring our FT educators up to speed, so hiring companies are less disappointed by the ill-prepared students and grads they are recruiting.
Can we afford to wait around and lose another generation to the mismatch of education and business goals and objectives? Can we afford – as a nation – to lag behind others in productivity and output? The answer is clearly NO.
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Author Bio: Marc LeVine is currently employed by Edgewood Properties as its full-time corporate recruiting specialist; charged with building an employment function from the bottom up, staffing the company and developing and administering full-cycle employment policies and procedures. Specialties:RECRUITING/STAFFING* e-Recruiting & “Employer of Choice” Strategies
You may reach Marc at 732-985-1900 x1140 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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