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What Employers Want From Psychology Graduates

What Employers Want From Psychology Graduates

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What Employers Want From Psychology Graduates

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  1. What Employers Want From Psychology Graduates R. Eric Landrum Department of Psychology Boise State University MPA Symposium “College-to-career transition issues: Strategies, skills, and shock” Midwestern Psychological Association Chicago, IL April 29, 2004

  2. Psychology Degrees Conferred in the United States, 2000-2001 • Doctoral: 4,659 • Men: 1,475 • Women: 3,184 (68.3%) • Master’s: 15,196 • Men: 3,615 • Women: 11,581 (76.2%) • Bachelor’s: 73,534 • Men: 16,572 • Women: 56,962 (77.4%)

  3. What Can You Get Paid with Your Bachelor’s in Psychology? • There are a variety of estimates available. These are STARTING SALARIES: • NACE Fall 2000: $28,811 • NACE Summer 2001: $30,388 • NACE Fall 2001: $29,952

  4. Prior Work—Skills Desired • Eison (1988): enthusiasm, motivation, grades, communication and interpretation skills, students’ non-college jobs, types of extracurricular activities, and self-presentation

  5. Prior Work—Skills Desired • Appleby (2000): social skills, personal skills, communication skills ranked highest by employers

  6. Desired Bachelor’s Level Abilities • Work effectively with others • Ability to acquire and use information • Use technology to solve problems • Communication skills • Computational skills/numeracy • Problem solving skills • Flexibility • Proficiency in field of study

  7. Methodology • Asked employers of psychology graduates (that employ 75+ employees total) to rate 88 potential skills and abilities • Employers in Ohio, Illinois, and Idaho were mailed a survey; 26.9% response rate

  8. Methodology • Each item was rated on a 4-point importance scale from 0 = not at all important to 3 = extremely important

  9. Listening skills Ability to work with others as part of a work team Getting along with others Desire and ability to learn Willingness to learn new, important skills Focus on customers/clients Interpersonal relationship skills Adaptability to changing situations Ability to suggest solutions to problem Problem solving skills Ethical decision making Critical thinking Ability to see the big picture Flexibility/shifting gears Being able to identify problems Working smarter to improve productivity Timely decision making Time management Problem-definition skills Personality What Employers Want: Top 20 Qualities, Skills, and Abilities

  10. Conclusions • What emerges as most important? • Interpersonal skills (listening, relationship skills) • Teamwork skills (work with others, getting along with others) • Work ethic (desire and ability to learn, willingness to learn new skills)

  11. Conclusions • Adaptability seems key (see also the covert curriculum) • Important to remember: the goal of a liberal arts education is more than job training, but preparation for life-long learning and good citizenship

  12. Conclusions • Faculty members may choose to design instructional experiences that maximize the development of the skills and abilities valued by employers