New and General Assembly Skills Gap Survey Reveals Increasing Student Demand for Digital Skills & Employer Appetite for Tech Savvy Hires

Share Article

Ninety-three percent of students and recent graduates think universities should incorporate more career-oriented curriculum; 79% of employers consider nontraditional credentials (certifications, open courseware, digital badges) when evaluating candidates.

Closing the skills gap with digital skills for the workforce

Closing the Skills Gap

"With technology and digital media driving much of today’s fast changing economy, there is a strong demand for people with technical skills and a practical understanding of business,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO, General Assembly. ", the world’s largest internships marketplace, and General Assembly, the leading educational institution offering instruction and opportunity in technology, business and design, released new survey results today on recent graduates entering the workforce and the digital and technical skills employers are looking for in the war for talent.

The survey results reveal that nearly 1 in 4 employers say recent college grads are unprepared for entry-level positions, with 37% of employers finding it difficult or very difficult to find qualified candidates.

The data suggests that students, universities, and employers can bridge this apparent skills gap: the development of digital and technical skills, regardless of undergraduate major or preferred industry/career pathway, will meet employers’ needs in the war for talent and help students find further value from their higher education experience:

Colleges & Universities can do more:

When compared to qualitative skills such as oral communication, writing or prioritizing projects, students and recent graduates feel much less prepared in digital or technical skills:

  •     Only 44% of students feel well prepared or very prepared by their college or university in digital or technical skills
  •     31% of students said their schools don’t offer, or they are unaware of courses, that encourage the development of digital or technical skills

There is an overwhelming desire for immersive, practical learning and a strong appetite for learning digital and technical skills amongst students:

  •     75% of students say they want more access to real world / internship experience from their colleges/universities
  •     52% of students think more practical skills development – including digital and technical skills – should be required
  •     63% of students have pursued digital or technical skills on their own, outside of the classroom, online and offline, through formal and informal workshops, and via in-person classes

The skills gap is real, say employers:

  •     While 44% of students report feeling well prepared or very prepared for landing entry-level positions, only 18% of employers agree with them
  •     In fact, 24% of employers say that recent college graduates are unprepared for entry-level positions
  •     37% of employers say it is difficult or very difficult to find qualified candidates

There is, however, reason for great optimism for both students and employers: 79% of employers consider nontraditional credentials when evaluating candidates for entry-level positions; indeed, 40.5% would consider digital badges, certificates from open courseware, or certifications in relevant skills in place of a bachelor’s degree.

Through more exposure to relevant digital and technical skills via online and offline courses, both through formal and informal environments, the next generation of graduates should be well positioned to succeed in the workplace and help bridge the skills gap. and General Assembly surveyed 1,484 students and recent graduates as well as 331 human resources and recruitment professionals between June 10 and June 20.


"With technology and digital media driving much of today’s fast changing economy, there is a strong demand for people with technical skills and a practical understanding of business,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO, General Assembly. "General Assembly provides the practical skills that allows people to create a rewarding and meaningful career path. shares our commitment to creating opportunities and we look forward to partnering with them to give our students valuable real world experience.”

“The value of digital and technical skills has never been greater. We’re proud to partner with General Assembly to help our students and recent graduates complement their internship & higher education experience with the practical business skills they need to succeed in the workplace,” said Robin D. Richards, CEO of

INFOGRAPHIC: For more information about the survey and to see more results, please directly download the infographic.

General Assembly and have partnered to offer students and recent college graduates access to GA programming and its community of people working within the fields of technology, business and design. has a wide user-base of individuals seeking to further their careers, and General Assembly is uniquely positioned to offer them the digital and technical skills needed to succeed in today’s economy.

About, a division of CareerArc Group, is the world’s largest internship marketplace bringing students, employers and higher education institutions together in one centralized location. Recognized by Forbes as a Top 10 Careers Website, provides a wide variety of interactive, world-class tools and services to enable every student, employer and educator to better understand and optimize internship opportunities. For additional information about posting 2014 summer internships please visit:

About General Assembly

General Assembly is an educational institution that is building a community of skilled individuals empowered to pursue work they love through instruction and opportunity in technology, business and design. General Assembly offers full-time immersive programs, part-time course, classes, workshops, events and online educational programming on the most relevant skills of the 21st century economy, including web development, user experience design, digital marketing and data science. Headquartered in New York, General Assembly was established in early 2011 and has eleven campuses worldwide, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Yair Riemer
since: 11/2009
Follow >
Visit website