Graduates Need to Level Up to Win in the Skills Economy: Workforce Preparedness

May 20, 20168:38 am582 views

There is a great disconnect observed between managers and recent graduates regarding their preparedness for employment after entering the workforce, and which skills managers are most likely to consider absent or deficient.

PayScale, Inc., the world’s leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, in partnership with Future Workplace, announced “Leveling Up: How to Win In the Skills Economy,” the 2016 Workforce-Skills Preparedness Report.

The report details the skills that are most likely to result in a larger salary, and the skills that are most likely to result in a promotion, which skills are least valuable (best to leave off your resume), and which skills are most common by geographic region of the United States.

“We hear all the time about the ‘skills gap,’ the gap between the skills needed to succeed in the professional world and the skills with which young professionals leave college,” said Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics, PayScale.

“The data we’ve collected show that even though their education may make recent college graduates feel prepared to enter the workforce, only half of hiring managers agree with them; managers feel crucial skills in recent graduates are frequently lacking or absent.”

One unexpected finding was the specific skills that managers feel are most often lacking in new hires right out of college. Rather than specific software programs or other tech skills, the report indicates that 44 percent of managers feel writing proficiency is the hard skill lacking the most among recent college graduates, while public speaking follows with 39 percent of managers feeling this way.

Furthermore, 60 percent of managers feel critical thinking/problem solving is the soft skill lacking the most among recent college graduates.

The “Leveling Up: How to Win in the Skills Economy” Report highlights include:

Recent Grad Preparedness

  • Overall, the majority of workers (87 percent) feel well prepared (immediately or within 3 months) for their job upon graduation from college. In contrast, only about half of managers (50 percent) feel that employees who recently graduated from college are well prepared for the workforce. This reveals a significant gap in perception between managers and workers.

See: 6 Sticky Situations Facing New Grads in their First-Time Job Search

Preparedness by Generation

  • A higher percentage of managers who are Millennials (55 percent) feel that recent college graduates are well-prepared compared to managers from older generations (47 percent Gen X, 48 percent Baby Boomers).

 Skills to Make More Money

  • Overall, Scala is the skill that will get you the biggest pay boost (22.2 percent), followed by Cisco UCCE/IPCC (21.1 percent) and Go (20.0 percent). Both Scala and Go are considered to be emerging skills – skills that have become high in demand in the past 5 years. They’re also, notably, STEM skills, an indicator that highly skilled STEM employees are in demand, and STEM jobs consequently command higher salaries.

 Best Skills to Get a Promotion

  • The most common skills held by workers at the Executive Level are Business Management (21.8 relative commonness), IT Management (20.3), and Profit & Loss (P&L) Statements (16.8).
  • The most common skills held by workers at the Director Level are Donor Relations (20.2 relative commonness), Software Development, Management (13.9), and Senior Financial Management (12.0).
  • The most common skills held by workers at the Manager or Supervisor Level are Training Management (3.1 relative commonness), Property Management (3.0), and Event Management (2.7).

 Best Skills to Leave off Your Resume

  • The “Best Skill to Leave off Your Resume” are considered “foundational skills,” meaning they are frequently listed as skills by employees within each industry represented. If an employee or job seeker lists these foundational skills among his or her top skills, he or she is likely to earn significantly less than peers with more impressive skills listed on their resume.

“Graduates need strong communication and problem-solving skills if they want to interview well and succeed in the workplace, because effective writing, speaking and critical thinking enables you to accomplish business goals and get ahead,” said Dan Schawbel, New York Times best-selling author and Research Director at Future Workplace. “No working day will be complete without writing an email or tackling a new challenge, so the sooner you develop these skills, the more employable you will become.”

Also read: Engineering highest paying job for fresh grads

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