Careers and Employability Service

What are the top ten skills that employers want in graduates?

 

Based on surveys on the skills required by graduates undertaken by Microsoft, Target Jobs, the BBC, Prospects, NACE and AGR, here is our summary of the skills which were most often deemed important.
There are many such surveys and each give slightly differing results.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION

1 Able to express your ideas clearly and confidently in speech

TEAMWORK

2 Work confidently within a group
COMMERCIAL AWARENESS 3

Understand the commercial realities affecting the organisation.

ANALYSING & INVESTIGATING

4

Gather information systematically to establish facts & principles. Problem solving.

INITIATIVE/SELF MOTIVATION 5 Able to act on initiative, identify opportunities & proactive in putting forward ideas & solutions
DRIVE 6 Determination to get things done. Make things happen & constantly looking for better ways of doing things.

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

7

Able to express yourself clearly in writing

PLANNING & ORGANISING 8

Able to plan activities & carry them through effectively

FLEXIBILITY

9

Adapt successfully to changing situations & environments

TIME MANAGEMENT 10 Manage time effectively, prioritising tasks and able to work to deadlines.

Other skills that were also seen as important

GLOBAL SKILLS   Able to speak and understand other languages. Appreciation of other cultures. See

NEGOTIATING & PERSUADING

  Able to influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreement.

LEADERSHIP

  Able to motivate and direct others

NUMERACY

 

Multiply & divide accurately, calculate percentages, use statistics & a calculator, interpret graphs & tables.

COMPUTING SKILLS
  Word-processing, using databases, spreadsheets, the Internet & email, designing web pages etc.
SELF AWARENESS   Awareness of achievements, abilities, values & weaknesses & what you want out of life.
PERSONAL IMPACT/CONFIDENCE  

Presents a strong, professional, positive image to others which inspires confidence & commands respect.

LIFELONG LEARNING   Continues to learn throughout life. Develops the competencies needed for current & future roles
STRESS TOLERANCE   Maintains effective performance under pressure
INTEGRITY   Adheres to standards & procedures, maintains confidentiality and questions inappropriate behaviour.
INDEPENDENCE   Accepts responsibility for views & actions and able to work under their own direction & initiative.

DEVELOPING PROFESSIONALISM

  Pays care & attention to quality in all their work. Supports & empowers others.
ACTION PLANNING   Able to decide what steps are needed to achieve particular goals and then implement these.
DECISION-MAKING   Determines the best course of action. Evaluates options based on logic & fact & presents solutions
INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY  

Recognises & respects different perspectives. Open to the ideas & views of others

CREATIVITY   Generates & applying new ideas & solutions

 

The most important skills to develop in employees to drive company growth over the next five years were (according to the Flux Report by Right Management):

  • Leadership skills 62%
  • Management skills 62%
  • Interpersonal skills 53%
  • Innovation and creativity 45%
  • Resilience 43%
  • Technical/specialist skills 40%
  • IT skills 40%
  • Sales/marketing skills 32%
  • Client management skills 24%
  • Other/none of the above 4%

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Last Updated: 11/09/2017