Most College Grads Can't Find Work In Their Field. Is A Management Degree The Answer?
Sixty percent of U.S. college graduates cannot find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco. Dubbed 'Generation Jobless', college graduates ages 24 and younger face an uncertain job future that, even with improving employment numbers, is only going to get more difficult if we continue to turn out graduates without what an Apple executive described as "the skills we need." Career and job websites, such as Monster Worldwide, ostensibly exist to address the challenge, but, in practice, offer only generic resume-building tips and interview skills.
The needs of this job-seeking cohort are more granular. It is no longer sufficient to have quality undergraduate training in a specific area (say, journalism or architecture). Today's employers can choose from candidates all over the globe. And what sets one applicant apart from another are skill sets that transcend one's major or desired profession.
In particular, employers are looking for applicants with core business competencies. Unfortunately, most American undergrads, focused on training in their desired field, never bother to accrue such skills. I see this first-hand at Monk. When we actively seek out creative professionals in writing, marketing, production and post-production, we find that applicants often lack even basic training in 21st century tech skills, such as programming, web design, and search engine optimization. In addition, applicants lack even training in vital "soft skills," including critical thinking and shared inquiry that come from a rigorous and deep chronological reading of "the Great Books" at schools like St. John's College Santa Fe (not the leftist secondary source pablum fed to many undergraduates). Moreover, few, if any, come equipped with training in finance, marketing, project management, and business administration.
That is probably why a new trend is emerging among U.S. universities to partially combat 'Generation Jobless': specialized, accelerated Masters in Management (or MiM) programs that take less time than conventional MBAs, cost less, and allow students to break through a cluttered job market in order to join the workforce faster. MiM programs are particularly tailored for undergraduates from non-business backgrounds.