Yet another complaint from “employers”–as though “employers” are some coherent group–about recent college graduates lacking job skills:
“When it comes to the skills most needed by employers, job candidates are lacking most in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving,” the report said.
Well, okay. But let’s take “college” out of the picture here and just focus on 22-year-olds. Nostalgia would insist that 22-year-olds of ye olden days were perfectly skilled in written and oral communication, managing priorities, and making decisions and problem solving–but clearer-sighted neurobiology would insist that 22-year olds’ brains simply aren’t fully developed.
In my experience tutoring middle school students, I came to believe that certain school skills–like organization, record-keeping, and neatness–are correlated with brain development. Certain children develop the ability to perform these higher level, executive skills at different times.
Bemoaning colleges’ failure to teach amorphous, unteachable skills like “making decisions” rather than accepting that recent college graduates, even smart ones, are still in the process of becoming adults–well, that’s is just another way of making our educational systems into convenient whipping boys to blame for shortcomings that college was never meant to remedy.