Report on "expectations gap" between students, post-grad life

October 23, 2014

Globe and Mail article looks at the gap between students' expectations for their university education and what institutions are able to offer. The report notes that youth unemployment sits at around double the national average, with an even higher rate of underemployment. The figures have led to finger-pointing from all sides. In any event, the article says, there is a significant gap between students’ expectations and the labour market, but no easy answers. While many have emphasized the importance of hard skills training as a path to post-graduate employment, others, such as Quest University President David Helfand, say that it is risky to conflate education and job training. Some data suggest that what employers are really after are so-called soft skills, which can be difficult for students to learn and for employers to teach. Moreover, as Janet Lane, Director of the Centre for Human Capital Policy at the Canada West Foundation points out, “there is no such thing as a ‘job-ready’ graduate. Everyone needs training.” The article goes on to highlight how some institutions across Canada are trying to meet these challenges. Globe and Mail