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Please Rate: Some employers who recruit recent college graduates for entry-level...

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“Some employers who recruit recent college graduates for entry-level jobs evaluate applicants only on their

performance in business courses such as accounting, marketing, and economics. However, other employers also

expect applicants to have a broad background in such courses as history, literature, and philosophy.”

Do you think that, in the application process, employers should emphasize one type of background—either

specialization in business courses or a more varied academic preparation—over the other? Why or why not? Develop

your position by using reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.


The author of this editorial presents two alternative approaches to selecting candidates for an entry-level position. One approach concentrates on the core skills of the applicant. As an example, the author cites the applicant’s performance in courses such as accounting, marketing and economics for a business-related role. The other approach is to also probe the applicant’s performance in a broad range of topics, such as history, literature and philosophy.


According to Jack Welch, an acclaimed leader and a former CEO of General Electric, “technical expertise is a given”, meaning that the applicants will stand no chance of being considered for a position if they lack the essential skills required for their job. The question is, whether or not the employers should go beyond the evaluation of the core skills.


The applicant’s performance in the areas other than their core skill is evidence of the flexibility of their mind, and indicates an ability to learn a variety of subjects. As an employee progresses in an organization, he or she will have to deal with a variety of problems and projects, requiring to adjust quickly to the changing environments. Such situations may require cross-disciplinary knowledge.


Perhaps even more important than the formal college subjects are the applicant’s social abilities. Will he or she add to the morale of the organization, be able to work effectively as part of the team, have the necessary attention to the detail? Or will she be detrimental to the overall goal of the company, even if she possesses the core and extended knowledge acquired in college? Such social skills are of extreme importance, and I would rank them together with the abilities directly related to the subject matter of the potential position.


In summary, the core abilities required for the job are of a paramount importance. Equally important are the social skills and traits of the applicant. The broader areas of knowledge may indicate additional abilities that may prove valuable, and all else being equal may tip the scale toward the applicant who has the breadth of knowledge in addition to the breadth.

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