Worldwide College Grads Are Excited About the Job Market

August 11, 2004 ( - Most (60%) recent and soon-to-be college graduates not working full time expect to have a full-time position within the next six months.

Furthermore, 77% are confident that their full-time jobs will meet their expectations. Of the 1,500 people polled, only 16% expect their job search to take more than a year, according to results of a multinational survey released by Accenture.

The goodwill was especially prevalent in the United Kingdom and US, with 60% and 56%, respectively, believing that they will find a job in the next three months. Those in France are more pessimistic, with four out of 10 recent graduates there expecting their job searches to take at least a year.

Yet, few graduates see their university experience as having armed them with skills that are applicable in the “real world.” Less than one-quarter (23%) said they have people/communications skills to offer a potential employer, and 20% said they have the ability to produce high-quality work in a timely manner. Only 16% said they have computer and technical skills to offer an employer.

“The university experience can provide graduates with basic skills and knowledge, but these young people generally lack workforce skills and expertise,” said Peter Cheese, managing partner of Accenture’s Human Performance practice. “Companies need to offer a variety of experiences and training in specific areas to develop recent graduates as professionals and future leaders. As experienced managers, increasingly, look to retirement, this need will become even more urgent.”

Given the lack of skills graduates feel they picked up while studying for their degree, it is not surprising that most respondents seek opportunities to learn and grow, be paid fairly and avoid a rigid work environment. Topping the list of what they seek from their prospective employers are training programs (71%); fair compensation (61%); flexible hours (59%); and approachable, available management (55%).