How prepared are you for the job market after graduation? Research has proven that graduates are not ready for the workplace. Career readiness is not only about acquiring hard (technical) skills; soft skills are essential elements that will help you thrive in the workplace.
However, many graduates lack those essential skills. Such vital skills as team-work, communication, and so forth are lacking-making graduates unprepared for the job market.
For instance, a survey of employers who hired graduate students revealed that over 50% of respondents said only a few graduates prepared for the job. The research further noted that graduates enlisted do not have the essential skill-set for the job market.
Interestingly, the world and the job market are changing faster, with technology becoming the norm. For this reason, the World Economic Forum (WEF) declared that in the future, there would be no jobs for 65% of kids who are starting school today. Why?
Because artificial intelligence is taken over the workforce, Given this, McKinsey Global foretold that in the future, half of all jobs will be automated.
Therefore, how can graduates be prepared for the job market to adapt to the latest trends and get instant long-term jobs at graduation?
Before we go further, let us get to understand “career readiness.”
What is Career Readiness?
Career readiness is the achievement and display of essential capabilities that extensively prepare college graduates to transition successfully into the workplace. That is according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACEweb.org).
As you can see, career readiness is not only vital to graduate students but also students all level. For this reason, the NACE brought a team of experts to pinpoint the competencies of career readiness.
Competencies of Career Readiness
The competencies of career readiness consider some soft skills that will assist graduates and other students to transition seamlessly into the workforce and adapt to changes without much challenges.
Although there are many competencies for considering, we are going to look at the four primary skills.
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Helps you evaluate information and interpret data using sound logic and reasoning, and provide an adequate solution to solve problems.
Creativity – Offer you the opportunities to build and innovate. It gives you the chance to turn new ideas and imaginative ideas into reality.
Communications – Helps to produce a language-rich environment. It builds an environment that aids language flourish by taking advantage of every opportunity to use language to interact and share ideas.
Collaboration – This skill enables you to collaborate on projects with others and have remarkable working experience. It helps to foster greater respect and tolerance for others.
Now that we have covered career readiness and the competencies of career readiness let us discuss a little about how educators can prepare graduate students for the workplace.
1: Learn to Use New Technologies
Technology is everywhere, in the workplace, marketplace, in schools, etc. It has become an everyday part of life. That means, if you’re not conversant with new technologies, you will be left behind.
Many educational resources support e-learning or digital literacy. As a result, many tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and so on, are always producing new technologies for natural learning and updating existing ones.
Hence, technological resources for education is available to you. Therefore, institutions of learning should take advantage of this resource to help students (especially graduate students) learn how to use these tools.
The good news is that many organizations and corporate bodies are offering sponsorship to such programs to assist graduates and other students alike.
For example, the undertakings by Microsoft’s DreamSpace offers grade school and high school students practical knowledge of technology. These tech giants are using mutual learning tools to like Artificial Intelligent (AI) and virtual reality to learn about the possibilities of the future.
How can grad students benefit from it?
Graduating students can benefit in that, the objectives of these virtual tools are to aid students to become creative. It will enable them to build problem-solving capabilities which are in demand at the workplace.
2: Zero In On Personal Attributes (Soft Skills)
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), communication, problem-solving, collaboration are the critical skills graduates, and job seekers must acquire to be able to get jobs in the future.
And one can primarily develop these capabilities through social and emotional learning (SEL), via the use of technology. So, what might happen if a graduate merges traditional, emotional, and social abilities? You will increase your chances and succeed in the ever-changing marketplace.
Given this, it is essential to inspire students, especially graduate students to assume responsibility for their learning. They can do this by collaborating with other students and having personal studies sessions as well.
Educators should assist students to approach complex challenges via critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They also have to motivate students to generate the following abilities:
Social and cultural awareness
Give students the opportunity to work on topics that interest them most. In this way, you will help students develop remarkable skill-sets that will enable to succeed in the workplace.
3: Help Graduates Develop A Resilient Attitude
Assisting graduate students to develop resilience will allow them to adapt to the changes in the work environment with confidence.
It is essential to building a resilient outlook because our work surroundings continue to evolve.
Therefore, developing resilience will prepare students for regular change and uncertainty. Given this, educators should encourage students to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers.
Such an outlook will enable students to be able to come up with positive solutions to any problem that might arise.
As mentioned earlier, graduates lack the vital skills of the workplace-capabilities that will enable them to obtain jobs as they graduate from college. Educators are not doing well enough to prepare students with career readiness capabilities that will assist them in the workplace.
Hence, should students leave their faith in the hands of universities educators? Or should they take responsibility for themselves?
Transitioning from university life to work life is not easy, it comes with challenges. But, with the support and encouragement from educators, you can develop soft skills are currently in demand at the workplace and will be in need in the future.
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