Skills gap | Threat or Opportunity?

Threat or opportunity

Even in a world flooded with information accessed at a distance of a “click” – one that fuels a competitive and constantly changing global economy – the workforce market is faced with a widespread challenge: the lack of skills required to tackle today’s business environment. How do we go about solving this issue?

The global competition demands a different skill set

Technology has changed the way the world is connected. Competition is global and it doesn’t matter where you are located on the map: Romania, India, US, etc. because you have lots of competitors for the same market share and talent. As a result, there is a constant need for skills in the market. Employers have high expectations and want to see a strong mix of a positive attitude towards work, technical knowledge, proactivity, solving issues in a timely manner, entrepreneurial skills, and social skills. Young graduates have fewer chances to get hired, as their current skills (or lack of them) don’t fit employers’ reality.

Studies show that around 80% of graduates work in a different field than the one they have graduated from. Still, they invest energy, time and money to graduate from a University and obtain a degree that they thought would be key to enter the marketplace.

And that raises the question: “Where is the disconnect?”

How do young graduates get a dream job when organizations don’t give them a chance?

The idea is simple – employers don’t want to invest in graduates if they don’t have the required experience. The reason? The risk for new hires changing their jobs right after having been trained is significant, especially with so many available jobs on the market. This pushes employers right back to square one.

Why not change the Educational System?

Young people go to universities with the hope that after getting their degree they can enter the workforce right away and bring value to it with their fresh enthusiasm. Disappointment sets in quite rapidly when they face reality: the market does not accept them unless they are properly prepared. All starts from the ground-up: the Education System, which offers too much theory and insufficient practice.

Now what?

To begin thinking about a solution there are 3 key matters that need our attention:

(1) restoring communication between universities and organizations in the marketplace, thus offering students the chance to get prepared for what the marketplace actually needs;

(2) keeping the information always accurate and in accordance with the demand;

(3) offering them practical training while still in school, by implementing a strategy in which internships are a significant part of the grading system, right from their first year of studies.

Both companies and young graduates would benefit from this.

There is a significant amount of change that needs to be done if we want to see graduates find jobs that they can bring value to from day one. It boils down to teaching students what they really need to thrive in a global market, and focus their educational process on pragmatic skills (i.e. problem-solving, creative collaboration, effective communication, thinking out of the box), not just theory. That can only be achieved with the help of organizations that need to transfer back into education the very skills that they wish to see in graduates.

Let’s get to work!

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