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Some employers are wary of Gen Z workers. What can colleges do?

Some employers are wary of Gen Z workers. What can colleges do?

Higher Ed Dive

Kate Rix
February 26, 2024
Call them power skills, durable skills or 21st century skills, but career development experts say it’s time to acknowledge that proficiency in empathy, critical thinking and collaboration are required to be successful in most jobs. And some younger employees aren’t cutting it.
They say a less-than-perfect storm of events has left Gen Z, generally considered young adults born after 1997, lacking in competencies that, in some cases, have been expected of workers but not explicitly named.  Competencies like using a more formal way of talking or writing an email, dressing appropriately for the office and showing up for work on time are in short supply among some young employees, the career experts contend.
And employers are complaining. In a 2023 survey of managers, directors and executives, 38% said they avoid hiring recent graduates and prefer older workers. And 58% say recent graduates are unprepared for the workforce.
“There’s a lot of concern these days about student readiness for the workplace,” said Diane Gayeski, a professor of strategic communication at Ithaca College, in New York, who advised on the employer survey. “That’s nothing new. Older generations are always worried about the younger generation. But clearly the pandemic did have a significant impact on students who graduated from college in the last couple of years.”
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