Study: Employers Are Unhappy With Preparation of Recent College Grads


According to yet another new survey, America’s employers believe that colleges and universities and not adequately preparing students for success after graduation.

While this is not a revelation to those who’ve listened to the collective moans of employers over the last decade, what is surprising is that this particular study is not one conducted by a conservative pro-business organization or publication, but one produced by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

In other words, even the governing bodies of higher education are starting to get it that higher education hasn’t yet got it.

Employers aren’t rushing to recruit

While colleges and universities are turning out grads who are book smart and techno savvy, these young adults aren’t able to cut the mustard in the workplace and prospective employers aren’t rushing to recruit them.

While it’s trendy for bleeding heart college students to occupy public parks and protest big business for exporting jobs and for making them pay back their student loans (and for whatever else they are protesting this week) a better use of time might be to channel that same energy towards developing the skills that would make them attractive to the employers they are rallying against.

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A college course that instills work ethic would be a step in the right direction.

This was originally published on Eric Chester’s Reviving Work Ethic blog. His new book is Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce. For copies, visit

Eric Chester is a leading voice in the global dialogue on employee engagement, and building a world-class workplace culture. He's an in-the-trenches researcher on the topic of the millennial mindset, and the dynamics of attracting, managing, motivating and retaining top talent. Chester is a Hall-of-Fame keynote speaker and the author of 4 leadership books including his newly released Amazon #1 Bestseller On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in their People without Burning Them Out.  Learn more at and follow him at @eric_chester


3 Comments on “Study: Employers Are Unhappy With Preparation of Recent College Grads

  1. I’m going to have to raise my hand and say that I take exception to this post.

    While Mr. Chester is referencing a valid survey and a valid accreditation organization, without digging a bit deeper into who are the member schools of the ACICS, one could assume this applies to ALL colleges and universities around the United States.

    When you look at the membership of the ACICS, it’s composed of post-secondary, for-profit schools. There is nothing wrong with being a for-profit, they all have positive and negative aspects. However, this post is completely one sided and misleading.

    I can’t believe this passed editorial muster.

  2. John: You make a good and valid point about this college survey, but as you also note, it is still valid. Post-secondary, for profit schools include institutions such as the University of Phoenix and National University. While they are not Stanford and Harvard, they DO graduate a large number of students. Yes, perhaps Eric should have qualified that a little better in his post (and I thank you for doing that), but it doesn’t make his argument any less valid.

  3. I apologize if the post came across misleading, John.  However, while the data was gathered by the ACICS, this story was published in the Chronicle of Higher Education which is a credible source for public and private colleges and universities and it was brought to my attention by the Dean of the Business School at a major public university.

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