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Gallup survey reveals new graduates lack networking skills

SOURCE: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP
Lack of emphasis on networking skills found to be reason why new graduates struggle to meet workplace demands.


By U2B Staff 

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American analytics and advisory firm, Gallup conducted a poll to find out if new graduates felt that they were adequately equipped with the right skills to enter the workforce.

The report found that when the new graduates were asked to choose the job skills for which they wish they had received more training from a list, nearly half of recent graduates cited networking skills.

These findings published by Gallup was based on a result of more than 1,600 college graduates who completed their bachelor’s degree between 2010 and 2019.

The survey was carried out on graduates in five academic fields including engineering, sciences, social sciences, business as well as the arts and humanities.

Additionally, out of the overall new graduates surveyed, a third reported a relative lack of software skills. However, most graduates report being satisfied with their training in public speaking, mathematics, and writing.

The survey revealed that engineering graduates expressed the highest level of satisfaction for the correlation between the effectiveness of their degree programmes and their future work.

However new graduates from business as well as arts and humanities programmes, reported the lowest satisfaction in terms of programme effectiveness in relation to workforce-preparedness.

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These results indicate that a large number of business graduates find that their college degree programmes are inadequate in preparing them with all the right skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

The response reveals that there may be some lacking with current business school curriculums. This deficiency could be attributed to the failure of these programmes to respond to current business needs.

Additionally, business graduates may also have a higher expectation in this area. More interestingly, graduates who responded that they strongly agree that they participated in a project that took a semester or more to complete were more than twice as likely as others to strongly agree that they obtained important job-related skills.

This indicates a clear need for institutions of higher education to ensure that graduating students have sufficient opportunities to develop their networking skills.

The study recommends that universities should coach students to build relationships in their spheres of academic and professional interest to help foster these skills.

Many colleges could further leverage their alumni networks, a vast and largely untapped source of networking potential, for this purpose.

The Gallup report also indicated that the importance placed on a college degree is declining among Americans: About half of U.S. adults now consider a college education to be “very important,” which is down from 70% in 2013. Over the same period, the percentages rating college as “fairly important” and “not too important” have both increased, to 36% and 13%, respectively.