The world’s top employers are pickier than ever. And they want to see more than high marks and the right degree.
They want graduates with so-called soft skills — those who can work well in teams, write and speak with clarity, adapt quickly to changes in technology and business conditions and interact with colleagues from different countries and cultures.
‘‘Soft skills tend to differentiate good college graduates from exceptional college graduates,’’ says Joseph Krok, university research liaison at Britain’s Rolls-Royce.
What employers are looking for are young people with the knowledge and skill sets embedded in our Outcomes.
A survey of employers released in April by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of the respondents reported that a capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems was more important than an undergraduate major.
‘‘Many technical programs around the world have historically focused more on technical depth,’’ says Paul McIntyre, vice president in charge of global recruiting at oil giant BP. ‘‘We've been communicating to universities the importance of soft skills.’’
The work that we started in May to review the Outcomes and Indicators to focus more intentionally on work ready skills and a global context is supportive of what we are learning from this article. I blogged about the evening event starting this work here. As can be seen below, our current document aligns well with what these employers are expecting from entry level workers. We now need to continue the process to create deeper alignment so that our graduates become value added for any future employer.