There is much discussion regarding what skills universities should teach their graduates and what skills employers believe recent graduates should possess, but what do students think they should get out of university? The Canadian University Survey Consortium surveyed over 18,000 graduating students from 36 universities across Canada and asked them this question. From a list of 29 various skills and characteristics, students were instructed to select the three most important areas for growth and development in university. Thinking logically and analytically was ranked in the top three by 46% of students. Endorsed by less than half this number of students, time management and skills/knowledge for employment tied for second, with 21% of students ranking these areas in their top three. At least to some extent, it seems like students are on the same page as employers and university administrators. A review of employer surveys and learning outcomes frameworks indicates that critical or analytical thinking is a particularly important skill to develop.
Note: The graph displays the percentage of students who ranked each area in their top three (among those areas selected by at least 10% of students).
Source: Adapted from the 2015 Graduating Student Survey, Canadian University Survey Consortium