Canadian employers call for better prepared graduates

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While the hiring picture looks good for graduates, Canadian employers say they’re being fed a raw deal as academic institutions are failing to prepare pupils for roles within the workforce.

The criticism came to light as CareerBuilder carried out a survey to find out how optimistic employers were about incorporating recent graduates into their own organizations.

And it seems this year’s class will have plenty of job prospects – 62 per cent of the 402 employers surveyed said they planned to hire recent college graduates this year.

Despite employers’ apparent enthusiasm, only 19 per cent believe academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their company.

The majority of employers (65 per cent) say colleges are preparing students for “some roles, but not all” and 16 per cent said they aren’t preparing them adequately at all.

When asked where academic institutions fall short in preparing students for the workforce, employers cited the following concerns:
  • Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real world learning – 61 per cent
  • I need workers with a blend of technical skills and soft skills gained from liberal arts – 38 per cent
  • Not enough emphasis on internships – 25 per cent
  • Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today – 22 per cent
  • Technology is changing too quickly for academics to keep up – 18 per cent
  • Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs – 13 per cent
Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada said the results should encourage employers to get involved with education.

“Though 3 in 5 companies plan to hire recent graduates, the vast majority of companies do not feel students are adequately prepared for the work force,” he said. “This finding underscores the need for companies to work with educational institutions to provide the training necessary for growing business needs.”

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  • D. Guy on 2015-04-23 4:05:50 PM

    I am a Human Resources professional who has been completing my HR Degree part time while working in my field and from a student perspective I have to absolutely agree with the employers on this one.

    In my experience, I can say with 100% certainty that had I completed my degree prior to entering my field and gone into my career with no hands-on experience I would not have been equipped with the practical knowledge required to be successful in my role.

    Most educational programs, mine included, put far too much emphasis on studying books and far too little on a real world hands-on approach. As a student who is also a professional in my field it has raised the question for me many, many times on whether or not the educational component is really worth the expense... every time I run across a real world example that my textbook didn't prepare me for I find the answer to that question to be a resounding "NO".

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