Students rate teamwork below presentation skills

June 13, 2003

Students are neglecting the most essential workplace skill demanded by employers - teamwork - according to a survey.

Teamworking emerged as the lowest rated skill, according to a survey of more than 1,000 students by the Careers Research Advisory Committee. Only 25 per cent of respondents thought it important to develop such skills.

Employers rate teamwork as their number one priority.

The Crac survey found that students believed presentation skills - with 55 per cent prioritising them - and negotiation skills - with 45 per cent prioritising them - were the most important.

These were followed by project management (45 per cent), sales and marketing (37 per cent), communication (37 per cent) and time management (28 per cent).

Richard Ogdon, deputy chief executive of Crac, said: "The hue and cry from employers is that in order to get on in the workplace, the ability to get on and influence and work constructively with your peer group is top of the list.

"The findings are of particular concern given that the academic experience is one that does not lend itself to teamworking, with students spending time in the library and working independently."

The most popular student career choice in the survey was management, favoured by 17 per cent. This was followed closely by banking and financial services (13 per cent) and sales and marketing (12 per cent).

Careers in the public service were among the least popular, with 3 per cent. Social healthcare was favoured by just 1 per cent.

A surprising 82 per cent of undergraduates expect to leave university with a first-class or upper-second class degree - compared with an actual rate of 60 per cent.

* More state-school pupils expect to go on to higher education this year, according to a report from the Sutton Trust.

A Mori survey of nearly 2,500 state-school pupils showed that 71 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds said they expected to go to university, compared with 68 per cent last year. Some 80 per cent were happy with their state school and a fifth said they would prefer to go to a private school.

Trust chairman Peter Lampl said: "We are most encouraged by the fact that more pupils in this age group are expecting to go to university. But still too many fall by the wayside and leave school at 16."

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