Employers placing lower value on grades, extracurriculars
- The fifth annual study of global employability found that, in 2015, employers cared less about grades and extracurriculars and focused more on skills like innovation, leadership, and networking.
- Pathik Pathak, founding director of the Social Impact Lab at the University of Southampton writes for World Economic Forum students are also better choosing extracurricular activities that will help them gain these soft skills. One avenue is through student societies connected to top corporate employers.
- Pathak urges universities to focus on employability, incorporating soft skills development and network building into the curriculum and making it a central responsibility rather than an afterthought.
The Global University Employability survey is conducted annually by Times Higher Education. It surveys recruiters and managing directors from around the world, finding this year that 75% of respondents see higher education as a globalized market. Nearly half of them have recruited candidates based on skills they acquired in massive open online courses.
In the US, as more emphasis is placed on student outcomes, many colleges and universities have already begun the shift toward expanding career services departments and creating partnerships with employers to help students secure internships.
Ranking systems that take student employment into account focus on short-term job statistics. This is another example in which ranking methodology might negatively impact institutional decision-making because connecting a student with a first job is very different from setting them up with the skills to be successful throughout several careers.
- World Economic Forum What skills do employers value most in graduates?
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