New Graduates' Workforce Readiness: The Mid-Market Perspective
Preparing students to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive, knowledge-based global economy is a critical challenge facing the United States. With that in mind, this report presents a mid-market perspective on the workforce readiness of newly hired high school and college graduates. It is based on data from the U.S. Workforce Readiness Survey conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Society for Human Resource Management. This report also includes excerpts from interviews with human resources professionals and educational research experts from seven mid-market organizations, as well as case studies of mid-market initiatives designed to improve the workforce readiness of newly-hired graduates.
Some key findings include:
- High school graduates are "deficiently prepared" in overall preparation for the entry-level jobs they fill, according to 43.5 percent of mid-market respondents. College graduates are much better prepared, but few respondents rate college graduates as "excellent" in overall preparation.
- Significant basic (reading comprehension, writing in English, mathematics) and applied skills (professionalism/work ethic, critical thinking/problem solving) deficiencies emerge among high school graduate entrants.
- Deficiencies in basic writing and foreign language skills persist among college graduates, and deficiencies linger in written communications, leadership, and professionalism/work ethic at the college graduate level.