Broad-based education is gaining popularity among the recruiters. They prefer students with variety of basic skills such as decision making and analytical skills over students with just a college degree.
According to the Northeastern University survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) and almost three-quarters of hiring decision-makers (73 percent) believe that being well-rounded with a range of knowledge is more important than possessing industry-specific skills.
Industry-specific skills can be learned and developed by anyone with work experience or by simply taking a crash course whereas, well-rounded knowledge is what gives you an edge in the work environment. It is believed that the number one reason for employers struggling to find qualified job candidates is that companies do not invest enough in training new hires. However, hiring decision-makers say that colleges and universities are not in tune with industry needs and not preparing graduates accordingly.
Experiential learning programmes, in which a student’s classroom education is integrated with professional work experience, have helped bridge this gap a little, but still students lack many of the basic skills or rather, qualities to work in any organisation. Development of those skills, such as verbal ability or decision making skills, is a very important part of the overall development of any personnel.
“As the nation turns its focus to higher education outcomes, we see that the American system has many strengths, but also many opportunities for improvement and innovation. The best attributes of American higher education—its diversity and competitive dynamic—are precisely the qualities that will lead to much-needed innovations,” said Joseph E. Aoun, President of Northeastern University.
It is also believed that online courses provide the same quality of education as in-class training and more and more people are starting to agree. This would help a lot of students in acquiring various skills while pursuing their higher education. Students need to broaden the base of their knowledge as well as develop their inter-personal and intra-personal skills to secure a good job in this demanding and fast-changing economy.