Employers Want Broadly Educated College Grads, Capable Of Innovation

Lauren Williams's picture

Wanted: college graduates with broad knowledge in the liberal arts, expert knowledge in their specific field and an electronic portfolio handy.

College major? Not the biggest concern.

According to a new survey of 318 executives at private sector companies and nonprofit organizations, employers look for more than someone who's specially trained in a field when considering recent college graduates for jobs.

In a survey released Wednesday by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of employers agreed that "a candidate's demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major." Four out of 5 employers said each college graduate should have broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences, and 3 out of 4 would recommend a liberal education to their own children.

AACU president Carol Geary Schneider described it to The Huffington Post as "breadth and depth," and said the message here is colleges ought to stop narrowing their curricula.

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