Graduates in demand will be those who have not only a good academic record, but also the skills that enable them to readily adapt to change.
Graduates are entering a labour market that’s going through rapid change. New occupations, industries and markets are being created while many traditional areas are undergoing significant transformation. Even the way work is organised is changing. Graduates can expect to work in environments that involve multi-skilling and participation in multi-disciplinary teams, in a mix of full-time, part-time, casual, contract and project activities.
This means there’s a global demand for graduates who have skills in:
- dealing with changing circumstances and environments
- fitting quickly into an organisation
- self-managing their own learning and skills development
- working effectively within teams and communicating at a variety of levels
- analysing & using information from various sources and synthesizing it into ‘value-added knowledge’.
Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) regularly survey Australian graduate employers to find out the skills they most value in graduate applicants. Their 2010 Graduate Outlook Survey – of over 350 graduate employers – identified the most important selection criteria they use when recruiting graduates.
Interestingly, academic results were not regarded as the most important. Employers certainly regarded good academic results as significant, but not as significant as candidates being able to demonstrate their skills in these key areas:
- communication & interpersonal skills (written and oral)
- drive and commitment
- industry knowledge
- analytical/problem solving abilities
To find out more, see the GCA survey of graduate employers.