5 Key Findings from the AACU Employer Views of Higher Education Report

This month the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) published its annual employer survey, “How College Contributes to Workforce Success: Employer Views on What Matters Most” highlighting key metrics that career services professionals should know in preparing students for the job market.

The survey, conducted with Hanover Research, included 496 participants in “equal numbers of executives and hiring managers who are responsible for making hiring and promotion decisions in US companies of various types and sizes across a wide range of industries.”

Here are some survey highlights:

  1. Employers value applied experiences, but internships lead the list of what makes employers “much more likely to consider” hiring a candidate;
  2. Employer confidence in higher education remains relatively high with 67% of employers surveyed saying that they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education in preparing students for the job market;
  3. The ability to work effectively in teams, have critical thinking skills, the ability to analyze and interpret data, and apply knowledge/skills to real-world settings, top the list of the most important learning outcomes to employers, however, many employers feel that graduates do not poses level of preparedness needed for workforce success;
  4. Drive/work ethic and the ability to take initiative are identified in the report as “very important” for college graduates to poses; and
  5. Employers view the importance of higher education and skills differently by age and education. 

Additionally, AACU’s report provides guidance for university leaders on how they can best prepare their students for the job market.

  • Make mindsets and aptitudes an explicit part of learning, inside and outside the classroom;
  • Assess skills and mindsets to ensure college graduates are prepared to succeed and to advance;
  • Ensure high-impact learning experiences can be equitably accessed by students from all backgrounds and that students are supported to succeed in these experiences;
  • Give students a way to tell employers their story; and
  • Leverage general education to reinforce why breadth and depth of learning matter.

With Symplicity CSM, universities can help prepare students to meet employer expectations and needs that align with the recommendations of the AACU. With Symplicity CSM, universities can empower their career services professionals to help students all within one platform and work in tandem with their university leaders to improve career readiness and placement as seen through robust reporting and relationship building. Symplicity CSM enables career services offices to accurately track student internships and experiential learning opportunities so that they can see what things a student can count as professional experience to put them ahead of other applicants for a job. Utilizing Symplicty CSM allows career services staff to also advocate for their student’s best interests by advocating for students beyond their college transcript to a potential employer, seeing what a job’s salary is, what coursework a student is taking that best aligns with available jobs, build connections between employers that are recruiting, and find curated jobs that allow students and employers full transparency.

The CSM platform, that builds the foundation to enable universities and colleges to measure and report on critical KPIs around student engagement and outcomes, streamline student and employer outreach, and run robust NON - OCR. With this critical reporting data, universities can assess their career readiness programs and actively use the data to market for college enrollment. With an enterprise-scale employability platform, universities can leverage CSM to engage students, employers, staff and administrators in the career-readiness process. At Symplicity, we believe the careers center provides critical services and fosters lasting connections with students and employers. As a result, CSM has the largest network of students and employers in the space.

For those interested in learning more about CSM, schedule a conversation with us or email info@symplicity.com.

Recruiting, career development, career readiness, Career Services, higher education, Career Fairs, Employees, early careers

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