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Education is an essential commodity that can be viewed as a wise investment that anyone can make; that is why many people go to college since many would want to gain employment after graduating. This is not the case today, getting a university or college education does not guarantee employment opportunities (Radermacher). Contrary to their expectations, many do not secure employment because employers feel that they do not possess the required skills for potential jobs. Thus, the skill gap required by industries and what is taught in colleges, universities, and other tertiary levels is steadily growing. A report released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) that in the US, over 45% of the graduates failed to qualify for job openings for small businesses in the first quarter of the year 2017 (Diamond 500). In other findings, the UKCES (UK Commission of Employment and Skills) reported that at least one in four job openings resulted from the widening gaps between the existing workforce and the skill gaps. Many job applicants have impressive and appealing qualifications but find it difficult to explain what they can do or contribute if they are offered a job opportunity. Most learning institutions today are not flexible in sustaining today's job demands. This gap can be attributed to improper preparation of learners in their elementary and secondary levels, lack of diversity in STEM industries, and poor marketing for the available job opportunities, among others.
How do we close the Gap?
Graduates, government, employers, and trainers must all embrace efforts to close the gap. Graduates should be well-trained to cultivate a culture that adds value to any given employment opportunity. They should also be well prepared with professional, technical, and interpersonal skills. They should also apply for jobs in which they are well –trained (Lasse 77). On the other hand, companies and organizations should clearly state the job requirements of which they are offering. They should also create a culture of offering innovative training programs to their workers more than college graduates. Colleges and universities need to understand the labor demands since it will help them tailor their programs to offer suitable courses and training relevant to the industry or employer (Cappelli 260). They should also involve the local industry in the development of the curriculum. Technological advancement and the rapid changes in the workplaces provide an opportunity to reduce the skill gap; for example, industries need to embrace continuous training and inject new talents in the organizations. The government should provide more incentives, such as financial assistance to colleges, to provide skills that meet today's job demand.
Cappelli, Peter H. "Skill gaps, skill shortages, and skill mismatches: Evidence and arguments for the United States." ILR review 68.2 (2015): 251-290.
Diamond, Rebecca. "The determinants and welfare implications of US workers' diverging location choices by skill: 1980-2000." American Economic Review 106.3 (2016): 479-524. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20131706
Hogan, Robert, Tomas ChamorroPremuzic, and Robert B. Kaiser. "Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality." Industrial and Organizational Psychology 6.1 (2013): 3-16.
Lasse, Cheryl. "Close skill gaps through personalized learning." T & D 66.12 (2012): 76-77.
Radermacher, Alex, and Gursimran Walia. "Gaps between industry expectations and the abilities of graduates." Proceeding of the 44th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education. 2013.
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