A new national survey has found that employers consider meaningful professional experience a must for recent college graduates. In the survey, commissioned by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the American Public Media’s Marketplace and published this week, employers indicated that internship experience is the single most important credential that interests them. Furthermore, more than half of employers reported they had trouble finding recent graduates qualified enough to fill positions at their companies or organizations. The study also reported that recent graduates lack basic skills, such as how to analyze large amounts of data or construct a cogent argument. “It’s not a matter of technical skill,” one employer reported, “but of knowing how to think.” While fresh hires had the right technical know-how for the job, said most employers in the survey, they grumbled that colleges weren’t adequately preparing students in written and oral communication, decision-making, and analytical and research skills.
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