underemployed jobs

Underemployment: The Skills Gap

You would think that with so many college grads working in customer service, all the good jobs are already taken. Surprisingly, employers complain (loudly) that they can’t fill key jobs. The problem isn’t a lack of jobs, it’s a lack of would-be workers with the most in-demand skills.

Top 5 Soft Skills Employers Want

Top 5 Hard Skills Employers Want

What Do These Figures Say About The Skills Gap?

The skills gap is defined as the difference in skills that available workers have and the skills that employers want from potential employees. The sad truth about the underemployment problem is not that it's a result of too few jobs, but that it's a product of a simple mismatch between the skills students graduate college with and the ones that will get them a job.

Employers want qualified employees working for them. And they spend a lot of time and resources (read: money) finding qualified workers. But they say that even with more people going to college than ever before, they can’t find workers with the right set of hard and soft skills to meet their needs.

How is that possible? Industries like technology, healthcare and oil and gas are growing at a faster pace than many others, creating increased demand for workers with valuable STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. However, as you can see from our list of the Most Underemployed Majors, that doesn’t bode well for those who choose to study broad liberal arts topics.

In a recent report about the skills gap, employers told textbook vendor Chegg that the technical skills they have the hardest time filling are word processing, spreadsheet software, data analytics, database queries and manipulation and person information management. Students or recent grads searching for work should take heed and take the initiative to learn these kinds of skills to make their resumes more attractive. Fewer employers offer robust on-the-job training anymore, so it's up to potential employees to teach themselves the skills that will allow them to embark on the career of their dreams.

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