College Students Mistakenly Believe They're Ready for the Workplace

America's college students will soon be cast out into a struggling economic landscape in search of employment. Luckily, college students believe in their ability to get the job done. Far more than the people hiring them do, in fact.

Inside Higher Ed notes the findings of a new survey conducted by Chegg that measured how prepared college students think they are for the workplace, and, separately, polled hiring managers on their own beliefs about how prepared college students are. A classic comic setup if ever there was one! The survey reveals, as it puts it in the most polite possible terms, "a gap between the skills hiring managers reported seeing in recent graduates and the skills the students perceive themselves as having mastered." For starters, 50% of college students say they're very prepared for the workplace, whereas only 39% of hiring managers—who've actually seen college students in action, in the workplace—agree.

Also: more than two thirds of students think their GPA is important, but less than half of hiring managers say that it is. In a heartening finding, hiring managers say that personal connections are far less important to getting hired than students think they are. And the final blow to the Ivy League Achievement Mafia: "Students put more importance on the name of the institution listed on their diploma, versus an employer’s view of the importance of school prestige. A full 45% of students, from schools across the nation, believe a degree from a prestigious school is very or extremely important to make them more attractive to employers. By contrast, only 28% of hiring managers found this important."

Hmm. So young and inexperienced college kids consider themselves to be well-prepared professional dynamos, and corporate hiring managers consider themselves to be scrupulously fair judges of human character, connections and credentials be damned. Everyone involved in the workplace is delusional. (Except for the jaded old employees, who will soon be laid off.)

Work hard in school, etc.

[The full survey. Photo: Flickr]