Research

Study: College Fails to Fully Prepare Students for Their Careers

Only 5 percent of former college students now in the workforce feel that their post-secondary education fully prepared them for their career, according to a global survey by Instructure, maker of the Canvas learning management system. The study polled nearly 8,000 current and former students in the United States, Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, South Africa, Colombia, Japan, Norway, Brazil, Sweden, Turkey and China.

"Beyond the liberal arts, higher education is being asked to ensure students have mastered competencies that lead to careers in their fields. We wanted to discover how well colleges are doing in the eyes of students, and whether their perspective changes when they enter the workforce," said Jared Stein, VP of research and education at Instructure, in a press release. "By focusing on student attitudes toward career preparedness and lifelong learning, this study gives some insight into how education can adapt to the changing expectations for higher education."

Findings of the survey include:

  • 11.3 percent of current students believe college is fully preparing them for the workplace, suggesting that students tend to have higher expectations for how well college is preparing them for their careers while they are in school vs. after they leave;
  • Graduates with a four-year degree were able to land a job in their field 70 percent of the time, while students who attended two years but did not get a degree were only able to land a job 42 percent of the time;
  • Respondents felt their post-secondary education left them only 67.7 percent prepared for their careers; and
  • Students who work in a field related to their major say college prepared them 71.3 percent for their careers, whereas students who work outside their field of study say college only made them 47 percent prepared for their job.

For more information on the study, visit the Canvas site.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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