Bid & Ask: Are new graduates ready for prime time?

Just read an interesting McKinsey study: Education to Employment – Designing a System that Works.


The focus of the study:

Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work.

Paradoxically, there is a critical skills shortage at the same time.

In other words, there are two related global crises: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job skills.

This report focuses on skill development, with special attention to the mechanisms that connect education to employment.

More specifically:

  • Seventy-five million youth are unemployed
  • Half of youth are not sure that their postsecondary education has improved their chances of finding a job
  • Almost 40 percent of employers say a lack of skills is the main reason for entry-level vacancies

An obvious conclusion: employers need to work with education providers so that students learn the skills they need to succeed at work

The pivotal finding: Employers, education providers, and youth live in parallel universes.

That is, employers and educators have fundamentally different understandings of the same situation.


Fewer than half of employers believe that new graduates are adequately prepared for entry-level positions.

Education providers, however, think they’re doing their job: 72 percent of them believe new graduates are ready to work.

I think that’s called a fundamental disconnect.


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One Response to “Bid & Ask: Are new graduates ready for prime time?”

  1. Greg Says:

    This is especially the case in high-skill manufacturing jobs, the type that the US needs to be competitive globally. Did you know that only 4% of new college graduates have an engineering degree. Compare that to 31% in China!

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