Dean Freeman in Wall Street Journal: Why Companies Aren’t Getting Grads With the Skills They Need

in Career Related, Dean Freeman, News, Students
October 9th, 2013

Dean answers question of preparation in “The Experts”

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posted a response from Dean Freeman to the question: Companies often complain they aren’t getting graduates with the skills they need. Why is that—and what should be done about it?

Dean Freeman explains that higher education has its roots in the industrial revolution and prepares students for a world that no longer exists. He says:

Traditional universities were designed to produce many “copies” of certain types of people—teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.—who, after “charging” their batteries with knowledge, would staff specific positions of industrial societies and would remain there throughout their careers.

Today’s world is very different. As technology develops ever more rapidly, any given body of “knowledge” has an increasingly shorter life span. Information technology automates more and more professions, destroying traditional jobs in entire industries.

Freeman continues, stating that individual flexibility, creativity, and certain personality traits like passion, curiosity, and common sense are keys to success in today’s world. The problem, he finds, is that these “soft skills” are not taught in most universities.

However, companies themselves can make an impact, Freeman says. He suggests that they establish partnerships with universities to help prepare graduates for the workplace:

The traditional heavily researched historical case studies that are at the heart of many business schools syllabi must evolve to include real time “live” dialogue on real business issues both inside the classroom with company executives, and outside the classroom through consulting assignments, research projects, case competitions and internships.

Read Dean Freeman’s full post here.