Employers satisfied with graduate standards, though concerns remain

 

Employers are generally satisfied with the quality of Irish graduates but have concerns about their writing skills and business awareness, according to a major new report.

More than 10 per cent of employers surveyed were dissatisfied with graduates’ self-motivation and their ability to work effectively on their own.

More than 400 companies – representing 144,500 employees – took part in the Higher Education Authority survey which gives the most complete picture to date of how employers rate graduates.

In an encouraging finding, more than 75 per cent of employers say the graduates they recruit have the skills they need. Most, they say, have “the right workplace and transferable skill and relevant subject or discipline knowledge”.

In another positive outcome, more than 80 per cent of companies expressed satisfaction with the calibre of graduates in the key disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths.

But there was less satisfaction with computing graduates, with employers citing insufficient candidates with the right skills in the Republic.

Some were unhappy with the ability to “communicate in writing appropriately and effectively. There was also dissatisfaction with the levels of business acumen/awareness.” Employers were dissatisfied with “the speed at which course content was changing to meet changing needs” in the workplace.