Educational administrators work hard trying to determine what skills employers are looking for in college graduates. We love to see our students happily and gainfully employed.
According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), you – the “hirers” of the world, are relatively happy with the way we are preparing graduates for entry-level jobs, but you also see room for improvement.
- You appreciate the value the broad knowledge base a liberal arts degree affords but,
- Even more important than an undergraduate major, you’re looking for graduates who demonstrate strong critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills.
- Collaborative problem solving skills are essential.
- In addition to resumes, you like to review electronic portfolios.
- Applicants must demonstrate strong ethical judgment
- Reflecting today’s global economy, you are interested in students with intercultural skills. Quoting the report, “While employers may not be clamoring for colleges to increase their emphasis on civic learning or on teaching about global issues, they widely agree that all students should receive civic education and learn about cultures outside the United States.”
So as educational administrators, how can we ensure that we are providing college graduates with the most current and useful resources?
In my case, I extend my own outreach beyond academia. I realize that the more I can continue my own professional education and stay current in the “best practices” across the business community, the better equipped I am to provide cutting-edge tools and information to my students. My primary resource is the Communications Media Management Association. CMMA is the premier professional organization for people who manage the creation, distribution and utilization of communications media for corporations, non-profits, government agencies and educational institutions.
Through my active participation and service on the Board of Directors of CMMA, I am able to build professional networks and gain insight and best practices from management leaders in such diverse companies as Mayo Clinic, Best Buy, Monsanto, American Family Insurance, and many more. As a result, George Mason University students benefit from my own continuing education and networking. It’s important to ensure academic relevance is in line with practical, field experiences and communities.
The global business community requires a vast array of experiences, resources, and professional networks. The earlier educators can bring this information to their college students, the better the graduates’ future employment opportunities. After all, education takes place in and out of the classroom.
This article contributed by Susan Kehoe, CMMA Board of Directors