In a recent article in the New York Times, Alina Tugend posed the eternal question that often crops up at this time of year–what are the skills college graduates should possess to make them employable? You may be surprised that the answer is not more technical skills. Quoting from a special report by the Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace published in March, Tugend cites the responses of 704 employers who identified the skills that recent college graduates lack:
“’When it comes to the skills most needed by employers, job candidates are lacking most in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving,’ the report said.”
In this regard, students who pursue technical majors should be in a good position to land jobs, as long as they recognize that technical skills alone won’t take them where they want to go. Instead, developing written and oral communication skills can provide them a distinct advantage for getting that first job and the next and the next.