Abstract

signed and meaningful educational programs for students. Employability skills are an essential component of a college education. This study explores the gap between importance and preparedness of 11 critical employability skills. The survey included participation of 32 universities with 11,428 respondents representing employers, alumni, faculty and students. All of the participants agreed, there was a significant gap between preparedness and importance for each of the 11 skills in the survey: understanding role in the workplace, managing conflict, accepting critique, listening effectively, communicating effectively, realizing effects of decisions, building professional relationships, navigating change and ambiguity, analyzing problems, transferring knowledge across situations, and asking good questions. Employers ranked the greatest preparedness gap for recent graduates as understanding their role in the workplace. Students however, felt their greatest preparedness gap is building professional relationships. This research offers a starting place for educators and researchers to take a more granular look at what will help new graduates thrive amongst the high levels of competition and increasingly challenging hiring expectations they will find when entering the workforce.