What Employers Want: NACE Survey Results, Part 1

For the past four weeks I have written in this blog about the skills that often appear as requirements in job descriptions. Today I’m going to switch gears slightly, to provide some information from the Job Outlook 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The results of that survey provide us with a list of what the employer members of that organization view as important attributes when considering employment of new college graduates. Although the order of the items varies somewhat from year to year, the top three or four items are typically the same. In this year’s report, the skills were ranked as follows (with percentage of employers listing a particular skill in parentheses and asterisks indicating topics that I’ve discussed in recent blog posts):

  1. Leadership (77.8%)*
  2. Ability to work in a team structure (77.8%)*
  3. Communication skills (writing) (73.4%)*
  4. Problem-solving skills (70.9%)*
  5. Strong work ethic (70.4%)
  6. Analytical/quantitative skills (68.0%)*
  7. Technical skills (67.5%)*
  8. Communication skills (oral) (67.0)*
  9. Initiative (66.5%)
  10. Computer Skills (62.6%)*
  11. Flexibility/Adaptability (62.1%)
  12. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) (60.6%)*
  13. Detail oriented (57.6%)
  14. Organizational ability (42.4%)
  15. Strategic planning skills (35.0%)
  16. Friendly/outgoing personality (29.1%)
  17. Entrepreneurial skills/risk taker (25.1%)
  18. Tactfulness (23.2%)
  19. Creativity (18.2%)

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to write posts that discuss the skills that were listed as important by more than 50% of the respondents to this survey.