Alumni Perceptions of Workforce Readiness

R. Eric Landrum, Paul I. Hettich, Abby Wilner
2010 Teaching of psychology  
We surveyed psychology alumni (N = 78) about (a) their preparedness and competency on 54 areas of workforce readiness, (b) changes since graduation on 33 adjectives describing emotional states and personality qualities, and (c) suggestions for universities about how to provide oppor tunities that enhance workforce success. Among the highest rated qualities expected in the workplace were self-discipline and responsibility, and among the greates t changes in emo tional qualities were increased
more » ... fidence, independence, and maturity. Respondents also provided revealing open ended suggestions for improving workplace readiness and success. We discuss these results in light of recent, national attention to workforce readiness, the American Psycholog ical Association's (APA) Guidelines for the Undergrad uate Psychology Major (APA, 2007), and future steps for psychology educators to help current students make the transition to successful alumni. Of the 88,134 bachelor's degree recipients who graduated during 2005-2006 with a major in psy chology (Snyder, Dillow, & Hoffman, 2008) , approx imately 25% continued to psychology graduate pro grams (American Psychological Association Center for Workforce Studies, 2008). Assuming some oth ers entered other professional programs and a minority did not enter the workforce full time, it seems safe to conclude that approximately 60,000 psychology gradu ates attempted to enter the workforce. Career planning courses, conference presentations, and books provide valuable information about career options, skills, and entry strategies, but alumni perceptions of behavioral and emotional qualities that influence workplace readi ness are often missing from these resources.
doi:10.1080/00986281003626912 fatcat:qmmf5v2vlfd25bu3tnvmjxx7mu