Ted Presley (Founder)

What Kind of Education Pays Dividends?

by Ted Presley | November 16, 2009 | Ted Presley (Founder) 0 Comments

Do you want to reach the top in your future profession? You certainly need to study hard and learn a lot. However, in the vast majority of future jobs, technical skills and knowledge of specific facts will NOT land you the position you have been dreaming about.

The October 23, 2009 edition of “Inside Higher Education” reports on a survey of more than 500 human resources professionals and business leaders. The survey focused on contemporary concerns among business leaders about recent college graduates and their abilities to enter the workforce, integrate into the corporate culture and become successful professionals. The results of the study should influence your decision about which university you choose, especially for your bachelor’s degree where your professional formation takes place – or doesn’t.

This particular study revealed that:

88 percent of the respondents think of professionalism as being related to a person rather than the position. To that end, the traits or behaviors mentioned most by the respondents as being characteristic of professional employees were “personal interaction skills, including courtesy and respect”; “the ability to communicate, which includes listening skills”; “a work ethic which includes being motivated and working on a task until it is complete”; and “appearance.”

Similarly, the traits or behaviors most associated by the respondents with “unprofessionalism” included… “poor communication skills including poor grammar”; “poor work ethic”; and “poor attitude.”

Among the traits or behaviors employers value most, and that they believe are most deficient in the recent graduates they have hired, include “accepts personal responsibility for decision and actions,” “is able to act independently,” and “has a clear sense of direction and purpose.” The study notes that colleges need to put a particular focus on imparting these traits to their students.

Clearly, the study mentioned above, reveals the “gap between employer expectations and student realities.” Your choice of university is one of the most important choices you will make and should be considered carefully. Will you have small classes in which you can relate to your professors as a mentor? Will the university help “shape you” into the kind of professional corporations are seeking?

At a private Christian university, the model for teaching students includes the development of character, integrity as well as intellect. These are critical elements of “professionalism.” At these universities, professionalism and advisor/student mentoring happen in so many different contexts that the development of these qualities becomes pervasive.

All too often, young people come to us with the idea that in order to be successful, they only need to store up a lot of factual information in their brains or they only need to graduate from a famous university. Don’t fall for it. Consider such studies as the one cited above. Make decisions that are well informed by factual studies.

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