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Tagged: Career

Soft Skills Crucial to Career Success

October 31st, 2016

The presidential election is right around the corner, and for many months we have been hearing politicians voice their opinions about a large number of topics.  One topic being debated is how higher education can help students and employers bridge the skills gap in the workforce.

Some say it is most beneficial to focus on specific workforce training.  However, a new book, Beyond the Skills Gap:  Preparing Students for Life and Work, posits that there are many more aspects to consider.

As the article we’re linking to today details, the authors of this book discuss “soft skills” that many employers say are missing from their young employees.  Such skills include work ethic, communication and teamwork.  They also suggest that employers can play an important part in training young employees to be effective in their work.

For those who doubt the value of the liberal arts in developing effective workplace contributors, this article – indeed, this book – will provide interesting food for thought.

Article below published October 26, 2016

Written by:  Scott Jaschik

Politicians (and plenty of educators) talk about the “skills gap” and suggest ways that higher education can do a better job of preparing students for careers. The authors of a new book very much want students to go on to successful careers. But their research in Wisconsin suggests that both employers and students need more from higher education. Their findings are based on in-depth interviews with employers and observation of classrooms that mix skills training specific to careers with the soft skills that many fear are being ignored in the current environment.

Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work (Harvard Education Press) is the result of this research. The book is by Matthew T. Hora, assistant professor in adult teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with Ross J. Benbow, an associate researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Amanda K. Oleson, an education scholar focused on workforce pathways. Hora and Benbow responded to questions via email. Their responses have been condensed slightly for space.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed >>

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Welcome freshmen – your college degree may soon change!

August 8th, 2016

There is no doubt that earning a college degree is worth the investment.  The question here isn’t whether the degree is valuable, but are you getting what you pay for?

Author Jeffrey J. Selingo, whose work we’ve linked to previously, outlines how vastly different universities, namely Georgetown and Arizona State, plan to engage students with more hands-on learning experiences so that students can see the worth of obtaining a degree from their schools. Competing universities are realizing that earning a four year degree doesn’t necessarily measure how much a student learns while in college.

Our thanks go to the astute parent who shared this link with us.

Article published July 23, 2016

Written by:  Jeffrey Selingo

Across from Washington, D.C.,’s Georgetown University is a red clapboard house where this 226-year-old Jesuit university is trying to reinvent itself.

Georgetown has long enjoyed a top twenty-five spot in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and a stellar reputation among prospective students, who often choose between it and the top Ivy League universities. But Georgetown’s endowment of around $1.4 billion pales in comparison to that of the University of Pennsylvania ($10 billion), Princeton ($9 billion), or Stanford ($22 billion). Without that kind of financial cushion, Georgetown’s biggest boosters worry it may not continue to attract top students in the future, especially with an annual price tag of more than $60,000.

Read more at The Daily Beast >>

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Goldman Sachs video interviews help cast wider net

August 1st, 2016

Edith Cooper, Goldman’s global head of human capital management said: “We want to hire not just the economics or business undergraduate but there is that pure liberal arts or history major that could be the next Lloyd Blankfein.”

Goldman Sachs, a multi-national investment banking firm, is now using video technology to improve the way they hire candidates.  Goldman has for many years hired college students for summer or full-time positions after graduation.  They typically limited their recruitment to about 400 colleges and universities with on-campus interviews.

Now, Goldman plans to open their search globally by using video interviews, hoping to gain more diverse employees with a wider range of backgrounds.  It’s nice to think that our Shrop Ed Skype meetings may prove an excellent training ground for such interviews.

Will other major companies follow, and will undergraduates everywhere find that they have greater access to high-powered career opportunities?  Today’s digitally savvy students are very well poised to capitalize on this trend, if so.

Article published June 24, 2016

Goldman Sachs is scrapping face-to-face interviews on university campuses in a bid to attract a wider range of talent.  The US investment bank will switch to video interviews with first-round undergraduate candidates from next month.  Each year the bank hires about 2,500 students as both summer and full-time analysts.  Goldman hoped the move will allow it to find students from a broader range of disciplines.

Read more at BBC News >>

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Apprentice School: An alternative to college

July 11th, 2016

As discussed in last week’s blog post, many young people are faced with higher university tuition rates and student loan debt than ever before. After graduating college, students are confronted with a highly competitive job market, sometimes forcing them to take jobs that they are over-qualified for, or in some instances, leaving them in what feels like perpetual job-hunting mode.

A long time ago, a high school education used to allow for decent wages and a place in the workforce. However, today students need a degree or specialized training. If students are not suited for a four-year university, where do they go to gain experience and the education needed to land a job with decent pay that doesn’t require a degree?

Jeffrey J. Selingo, author of “There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow,” has just the place. In the article posted below, Selingo writes about a school in Virginia that offers an alternative to college.

Article published June 22, 2016

Written by:  Jeffrey J. Selingo

Nearly 40 percent of American workers hold a bachelor’s degree. College graduates are found in virtually every profession: 15 percent of mail carriers have a four-year degree, as do one in five clerical and sales workers and 83,000 bartenders.

Getting a bachelor’s degree is what going to college means to most Americans and is so ingrained in our culture that students who do not march along are often admonished, questioned and considered — or consider themselves — failures.

Read more at The New York Times >>