From Higher Ed to Workforce. Voice of the Graduate


As close to 2 million college students prepare to graduate, a study finds that many of them face what it calls a “unique paradox.” While the young people are qualified—even overqualified, in many cases—to enter the workplace, most of them feel ill-suited to tackle the harsh realities of an evolving job market.

The wide-ranging study was conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in conjunction with online student hub Chegg. It involved more than 4,900 graduates, most of whom finished college between 2009 and 2012, and suggests that graduates are growing increasingly disillusioned with the employment outcomes of their education.

In what may be the most troubling finding, more than half (53 percent) of participants said that they would “do things differently if they had to do it all over again,” choosing a different major or a different school.

This “should be an alarming call to action for all of us,” said André Dua, a director at McKinsey and lead author of the study. “We need to have a national discussion about how to better prepare students.”