A Closer Look

Closing the Skills Gap / Connecting College Students and Employers

There are two major factors we need to address to close this gap and bring students and young professionals closer together with employers.

The first factor is empowering students to make informed decisions about their degree and courses they take. It takes 120 credits to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, yet the national average is 137 credits. Community college students are taking 80 credits for Associates Degrees that require an average of 60 credits. Students are wasting time and money. Yet they are still saying, “I wish I knew that when I was in school,” when confronted with the skills and experiences necessary to qualify for a job.

College students need more data, and thanks to Federal dollars, a few states — including Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas — have begun to marry earnings data with college transcripts. It’s a great start, but we will need to go beyond asking students to access tables of data on a government portal. What will truly impact the employment gap is when employers get more involved in academic planning. They need to educate one-, two- and four-year students on the soft and hard skills they need for getting a job before it is too late.

The second major improvement for closing the skills match gap is enabling students to tell their story in meaningful ways. The obvious conclusion is that won’t happen by using a word processor, filling out a form or creating a resume. It requires rich-media technology that allows a generation of employees — who are light on work experience but heavy on life experience and academic achievements — to distinguish their talents.

In a nutshell, someone recently asked me what are the three most important characteristics that determine an employee’s success in my organizations. My response was attitude, tenacity and talent. Their follow-up: show me where you find those on a resume….

Choosen excerpts by JMM from

via Michael Crosno: Closing the Skills Match Gap: Connecting College Students and Employers When it Matters Most.

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