Weekly Research Digest, 9-19-13



Preparing Graduates for Global Success
Toplines Report, Northeastern University, September 2013

Northeastern University released the findings of its 2013 national survey of Americans' attitudes toward the future of higher education.

Key findings include:
  • Americans believe in the importance of higher education but express concerns about the system's ability to prepare graduates for success in today's competitive workforce (62 percent believe higher education is doing a fair or poor job.)
  • Most Americans (nearly two-thirds) and business leaders (almost three-quarters) say it is important for graduates to be well rounded and possess broad skills such as problem solving and communications.
  • Americans today are less confident in online education than last year. However, more than half expect an online degree will be equally recognized by employers in the next five to seven years.
  • Overwhelmingly, Americans and business leaders believe in the importance of experiential learning for long-term career success. Nearly nine of 10 Americans say that students with work experience in the form of an internship or paid employment related to their filed have more successful careers in the long run. 
  • Americans are almost evenly divided about who has the greatest responsibility in preparing graduates for successful careers: higher education institutions, employers, or graduates.
  • More Americans than last year said that the U.S. higher education system must change for America to have a globally competitive workforce--87 percent compared to 83 percent, respectively.

In the News
Inside Higher Ed - Broad Education vs. Industry-Specific Skills
The Hechinger Report -  Survey: Colleges aren't preparing graduates for jobs
Wall Street Journal - Are You Experienced? Employers Hope So


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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.