You're the owner of a company looking to hire a few entry level positions.
A) Your first prospect is a 4.0 student who graduated high school, took the traditional route straight into college, and completed a undergraduate degree in 4 years. This candidate's resume is filled with accolades from high school and college, but there is not much you see that will guarantee you are hiring someone with soft skills and real world experience.
B) Your second prospect is a non traditional student. The candidate is a year or two older. He/she completed college in four years; however, you find in their resume that they spent a year between high school and college conducting internships in non-profit organizations both in country and abroad. The candidate gained unique experience in difficult and challenging circumstances. You see that this student is a bit more 'weathered' and has spent time out in the working world.
Who would you hire?
The most complaints we hear from companies today in America is not that they have uneducated employees. It's that their people lack the soft skills and emotional intelligence to get the job done. There are plenty of candidates walking around with college degrees and accolades to their name. But employers need people who can negotiate, collaborate, listen, take initiative, be proactive, problem solve, and navigate bumps in the road.
Put it this way. Students need to come out of college ready to "talk shop". To engage the work environment. To be a team player. To identify conflict and work effectively towards resolution. To do this independently without someone needing to hold their hand.
For these reasons, students graduating high school need to RETHINK what the next step for them might be. The tide is rising on college decision making for seniors. The current is gaining speed. Students want to be at a school where they can fulfill their dreams. Parents want their students to succeed and make the transition to college and future successful employment. But what is happening each year is that a culture of traditional ways of thinking towards education is getting lost in the undertow of reality.
1 in 3 students will transfer next fall, deeply unsatisfied with life and studies at the school of choice.
Only 56% of students will even complete their undergraduate degree in 5-6 years.
College graduates are not seeing a favorable job market and their competition is increasingly being measured on a global scale rather than being compared to fellow American students. Today's student needs to consider the realities of globalization and understand that traditional ways of graduating college and entering the job market are no longer a given.
Here at the KIVU Gap Year, we are swimming against the current to create a new culture in education. We are offering a new model that sends students away from college for one year IN ORDER to equip them for the realities of our changing world. We are on the front end of the making of a global student. We are fashioning a marketable graduate. We are giving students 900 hours of real world experience that spands across social, economic, and spiritual backgrounds. We are building soft skills before going to the university.
When seniors are considering what to do next year, I urge them not to get swept away in the under current of traditional education. Swim upstream with us and become a global student who is equipped to weather the storms of a changing world. The college campus awaits you. But you ought to know more about the world around you and within you before you go!
Who would you hire?