What specific skills are today’s business leaders looking for?
For this study, researchers interviewed 305 executives at companies with at least 25 employees, where at least 25% of new hires hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. They asked what qualities employers were looking for in new hires. Surprisingly, they found that employers do not want to know if you’re ready to hop into your first job armed with all the specific technical training needed to do that job. The most important skills they look for are #1, teamwork, #2, critical thinking and reasoning and #3, oral and written communication. The report also cites four “essential learning outcomes” that individuals need to be successful in today’s global economy, and which business leaders overwhelmingly endorse. These are knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural worlds, intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibility, and “integrative learning”—the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings. All of these, of course, are outcomes that a liberal educati