The graduate skills gap and mismatched expectations in the 21st century


In a Universities Australia publication, ‘Career Ready Graduates’, 451,263 students completed 555,403 workplace learning placements or activities in 2017. In QILT's 2018 Employer Satisfaction Survey, the overall satisfaction with graduates as rated by their direct supervisors was 85%. This presentation will connect existing Australian research in career readiness and successful employability with global data insights by examining the relationship between graduate skills and employer expectations amid today's uncertain landscape.

Presenters will discuss key findings from three global QS surveys – Global Employer Survey, Applicant Survey and International Student Survey – to understand the alignment and/or misalignment between employer and applicant expectations. This research is conducted with thousands of employers and prospective students worldwide and the results show that many employers feel there is a graduate skills gap. There will be an in-depth exploration of what skills and behaviours need to be developed and the need for a more symbiotic relationship between employers and universities.

Learning objectives

*To understand mismatched expectations about graduate skills among students and employers worldwide.

*To gain insight into the debate about what role universities play in equipping students with skills necessary for employment. How can we bridge the gap between universities, employers and students themselves?

*To question the fourth industrial revolution's impact on the skills required of graduates.

*To explore how universities should be responding to technological advancements, so that they are developing relevant skills of the future in their students.

Chris Strods, QS Enrolment Solutions

Market Research and Data Manager

QS Enrolment Solutions

As Market Research and Data Manager at QS Enrolment Solutions, Chris Strods produces the QSES International Student Survey and Domestic Student Survey, as well as bespoke market research projects for educational institutions across the Australia–Pacific region. Chris is an experienced market researcher who has conducted qualitative and quantitative strategic research for commercial, not-for-profit, government and political organisations. He is passionate about using data to go ‘beyond the obvious’ in understanding student behaviour, values and decision-making.