Chelsea Lennox, a senior at Boston College, works at an ice cream shop. The psychology major has yet to find a full-time job in her field.

Credit: (Mallory Noe-Payne/WGBH)

Poll: Skills Gap May Be Lengthening Job Searches

April 29, 2014

A new poll out Tuesday from Northeastern University finds business leaders think few recent graduates have the skills to be good workers.

For Brian Palmer, CEO with General Electric, that shortage means not being able to find people who have the ability to use new technologies and traditional engineering skills.

"It's not a discipline we see today is this combination of very savvy, software capable engineers that have the fundamentals of electical, mechanical and civil," Palmer said. "The challenges are bigger and the pools are smaller."

The skills gap is in more than just technology and science. The Northeastern poll shows the top skills employers are looking for are actually qualities like adaptability. Nearly 90 percent say teaching students about entrepreneurship, including how to start your own business, is important. Palmer says when GE recruiters visit schools they're also looking for that human element.

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