In This Hot Hiring Market, Graduates Shying Away From Applying to Roles - Because They Don't Feel Ready

Here’s a look at what parents need to know about this troubling disconnect - and how to help solve it, both at scale and at home
July 10, 2022

This week, it’s a hot hiring market, but graduates are shying away from applying - since they don’t feel ready for the workplace.

Here’s a look at what parents need to know about this troubling disconnect - and how to help solve it, both at scale and at home

The data suggests that it’s a great time to be a new graduate on a job hunt.  The U.S. has an unprecedented labor shortage with over (8.1 million jobs open) and, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, there are 33% more jobs are available for the class of 2022 than there were in 2021. Employers across the board are eager to hire, and the average time from an interview to offer acceptance is approximately 40 days.

All good news - except that recent research from educational content and services company Cengage shows that, sadly, graduates aren’t confident about their own employability or the market relevance of their degrees, so much so that, 50% of the recent college graduates surveyed, said that they are just choosing not to apply to entry-level roles.

Cengage, which surveyed 1,600 recent college graduates from 2-year and 4-year institutions who are currently employed, found that:

Nearly half of graduates don’t believe their education was worth what they paid, and one in three don’t think, so their education helped them land their job.

What’s going on - and what needs to happen

At Scale:

Even though students are taking on record-high levels of debt for their college and university education, they aren’t convinced that what they have learned applies to the available jobs - which is a terrible state of play from every perspective.

For a start, the education system needs to evaluate how they prepare students with employable skills and how they communicate the connection between what they are doing in the classroom and how it relates to their options in the job market. There’s an opportunity for higher education to evolve and integrate career preparation, certification(s), and internships into course curricula - making it more practical and providing students with an understanding of what options they have and what works in their industry.

At the same time, employers should re-evaluate how they describe what’s required for roles, including adjusting how they evaluate candidates and whether a college degree is necessary to succeed at the position or if it is just a leftover screening mechanism.   With the data from across industries showing that the talent and skills gap threatens their operations, innovations, and growth, the timing is right for disrupting how employers prepare and screen talent.

At Home:
To help recent graduates struggling to find the right entry point or feeling an imposter syndrome about what they can offer the job market, here’s what parents can do to help:

For parents with high school-age kids trying to figure out their career readiness paths are, this data suggests that better career conversations are overdue in figuring out the best options for their child, at this time and from what’s available.

It’s a big topic and this is just the start of a deeper conversation on how to get our kids better ready for the new world of work. Have a question or angle that I should cover, drop it to me on Twitter: ​​@thelongrange

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