New graduates naturally feel good about their skills. They’ve done well enough in skill to know they have a place on the corporate ladder. The problem is that even those who passed their degrees with flying colors are not equipped with the necessary skills to do their jobs. Yes, even if you are a magna cum laude of whatever bachelor’s degree you pursued, there is still a big chance that your inexperience will get in the way of you doing your job well.
The majority of hiring managers will tell you the same thing. They believe that new graduates are not well-prepared for the jobs they want and aim to do. A whopping 92% of executives also said that the workforce doesn’t have the skills they need to do their jobs well. In the corporate world, this is called the skills gap. Are you unfamiliar with the word? It refers to the gap between the skills employers expect their employees to have and the skills that employees actually have.
In the past decade, employers have been open about the fact that most of their employees don’t have the skills necessary to bring the business to success. They chalk this up to the lack of government support for training and the high cost of developing talent within their organizations. In the past, private companies invest in on-the-job training development, but they since then relied on schools and the government to produce fresh graduates with the skills they want and need.
But should employers blame the government and schools when their businesses fail? Don’t they also pay for training and seek business advice when their businesses are in trouble? That logic also applies to employees and the skills they lack.
Employees Are in the Know, Too
Employees are aware of the skills gap. In a study, more than 65% of them said that they do not have the skills to do their jobs well, while one-third believe that the lack of skills prevents them from making more money. This means they are stuck in a job that doesn’t pay them well enough because they lack the skills. The most important skill they are missing is computer skills.
About 32% said they do not have technical and computer skills, while 23.6% claim they need better management skills. Other skills that employees think they should know but don’t are administrative skills and financial skills. Business communication skills are also a problem, as well as business writing.
Are Schools to Blame?
It is unlikely that schools are the reason why employees don’t have the skills they need. Although schools should probably upgrade their curriculums to include in-demand soft skills and hard skills, whatever experience they can provide is still insufficient to prepare students for the real world. Only 41% of the employees surveyed feel that they are adequately prepared for their jobs. The remaining 59% believe that they need to learn new skills for them to do their jobs well.
How can they address the skills gap? Employees take the matter into their own hands by enrolling in in-person classes and online lectures. Some of them rely on the knowledge they gain from their supervisors and colleagues. Those who cannot afford to take formal classes will try self-learning, watching YouTube videos, and reading journals and books.
But Employers Have a Big Role to Play
Employees alone should not be held responsible for the gap in their skills. They take with them whatever knowledge they have received from academic institutions. But when it comes to experience, training, and development, employers also have a major role to play. Without support from employers, workers won’t and cannot take time off their busy schedules to attend an online class. If they do, that’s to the detriment of their health. They will sleep less and eat less healthily because they needed to attend a class.
It’s not always about the expenses, too. Employers have to show their support for their employees who are pursuing learning and knowledge. They need to let them take time off from work. They need to provide resources, so they can upskill and reskill themselves. Why do employers need to do that? Businesses will thrive better when their employees have the right skills to do their jobs well. They will be more productive because they will value more the work that they do.
Schools don’t teach everything to students. Do not expect fresh graduates to have all the hard and soft skills your organization needs to succeed. Employers need to do their part in training, developing, and helping the workforce achieve their potentials.