Today's Grads Need Strong Communication Skills

Northstar Notes

Too often, employers say, new employees are like drones, doing what they are told, without offering suggestions for improvement.

Published on: May 28, 2013

Social media aside, today's graduates continue to need strong communication skills to find employment.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook 2013 Survey, employers want candidates with "outstanding communication skills" and "who are team players.

Other top abilities include "ability to make decisions and solve problems," "ability to obtain and process information," and "ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work."

Somewhat important candidate skills/qualities on the list are the "ability to create and/or edit written reports" and the "ability to sell or influence others."

Being in the communications business myself, I was pleased and not surprised about the emphasis on communication. I do find myself concerned about the impact of the internet and the "instant-ness" of it all. I am not alone.

In an October 2012 Project Information Literacy Research Report entitled "Learning Curve: How College Graduates Solve Information Problems Once They Join the Workplace," researchers learned a disturbing trend: many college graduates rely too much on Google and other "instant" sources to do conduct their own research. They lack the patience and persistence to continue to delve deeper when looking for info.

That's sad, especially when employers says they want college grads who will go out and search more extensively for information, digest that, and offer comments and suggestions.

Too often, employers say, new employees are like drones, doing what they are told, without offering suggestions for improvement.