While the number of open tech jobs and demand for workers with technical skills often garner media headlines, what employers say they really want is graduates with “uniquely human” or soft skills, according to research from Morning Consult on behalf of Cengage.
In a survey of more than 650 employers and more than 1,500 current and former college students,
soft skills like communication and attentiveness were most in demand by employers, while quantitative skills and computer and technical skills were less so.
Top skills employers say they are looking for:
- Listening skills (74 percent)
- Attention to detail and attentiveness (70 percent)
- Effective Communication (69 percent)
- Critical thinking (67 percent)
- Interpersonal skills (65 percent)
- Active learning/Learning new skills (65 percent)
Unfortunately, students and recent grads are not quite sure they have what employers are looking for. In the survey, 77 percent of students and recent grads are worried about having the skills needed for the job, and one in three grads don’t believe their education has properly prepared them for the workforce.
Employers echoed similar sentiment, the majority (73 percent) said it was very or somewhat difficult finding qualified candidates, and about one-third (34 percent) say schools have not properly prepared students for jobs.
For more information on the survey, view the infographic here.