Survey: The skills gap is real

87% of recent grads feel they're prepared for the office, only 50% of managers agree

Recent graduates lack critical-thinking, writing, and presenting skills, according to a new survey.

PayScale and Future Workplace conducted a survey that found just 50% of managers feel their new hires are well prepared from college—yet 87% of the new graduates felt they were.

According to a previous Payscale report, about 50% of respondents say their company cannot fill open positions for lack of qualified workers, likely due to increased role of technologies that necessitate specialized skills. And in a separate survey of 1,285 recruiting agency professionals, 75% of respondents cited a "skills shortage."

Who is responsible for closing the 'skills gap'?

Overall, the new survey found:

  • 44% of managers named writing proficiency as the hard skill graduates lack most; and
  • 60% of managers said critical thinking and problem solving is the soft skill graduates lack most.

Among hard skills, the other elements managers identified were:

  • Public speaking, with 39%;
  • Data analysis, with 36%;
  • Industry-specific software, with 34%; and
  • Math, with 19%.

Among soft skills, managers identified:

  • Attention to detail, with 56%;
  • Communication, with 46%;
  • Ownership, with 44%; and
  • Leadership, with 44%.

(Starner, HRDive, 5/19; PayScale report, accessed 5/23).


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