Graduates and graduate recruitment programmes have never been more important in enabling the Digital outcome for both providers and users of digital solutions in all measures.
Rampant short term thinking in organisations has mean that many graduates were traditionally looked down upon because of “a lack of experience” and the time required for productivity factors. Certainly over the past 20 years I have noted many organisations have cut back on graduate programs, or narrowed focus.
Now we are accelerating through the digital age the tide has turned rapidly. Graduates are Digital Natives. They live act and breathe the new economy more than any jaded worker with 25 years of experience. Social media, analytics, mobility are second nature in professional and personal capacities. Imagine the skills that the next generation of workers will have in say 10 years as they come through knowing absolutely nothing else but integrated digital functions.
Clearly this has resulted in a significant reduction in time to productivity for graduates, in fact the model may well have been turned on its heads. Arguably the existing long term employees are the ones who need to realign skills due to the time required to make them more productive.
One point, whilst the suitability of new graduates for the new economy cannot be questioned, it would be naïve to think that academia has caught up with the shifting skill base and requirements. In general it hasn’t so more transformation is required. From a technology graduate point of view the problem becomes the choice between training a general graduate in technology, or training a technology graduate in business.
Graduates have never been more important, subsequently, nor has a revitalised graduate recruitment program. Focus on training will increasingly be needed to reskill older legacy workers not younger Digital Natives.