74 per cent of employers looking for tech skills in graduates want them to be competent in AI and Machine learning, a new survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) finds.
The Corporate Recruiters Survey provides annual insights on hiring trends and skill demands, and the latest report focuses on future workplace skills employers see as growing in demand, and how current global trends are affecting hiring decisions worldwide.
The report surveys leading global firms, with over half of the sample of employers coming from Fortune 500 companies. Employers who were looking to hire tech-focused graduates stated AI and Machine learning were vital competencies to have.
Surpassing the demand for AI, a remarkable 80 per cent of companies are actively searching for candidates with technical expertise in Web3, blockchain, and virtual reality skills. Additionally, 75 per cent of these companies emphasise the importance of proficiency in operating cloud-based technology.
Other findings in the report highlight communication, data analysis, and strategy expertise as the most essential skills for graduates according to surveyed employers. Moreover, they anticipate that these proficiencies will gain even greater significance in the future, which is characterised by increased global connectivity through even more diverse mediums than at present. As a result, multilingualism, active listening, and cross-cultural competence are also underlined by surveyed employers to become increasingly indispensable over the next five years.
“We are witnessing a significant transformation in the hiring landscape, with a clear shift towards the prioritisation of cutting-edge technologies in recruitment,” says Nalisha Patel, Europe Regional Director at GMAC. “As technology continues to shape the future workplace, it not only changes how we work, what skills we need to be successful, but also it impacts with who we work with too.”
Indeed, in both the technology and consulting sectors, employers highlighted the significance of cross-cultural competence and multilingualism for recent graduates; while just over 50% of tech employers believe candidates are well-prepared in multilingual skills, fewer than half felt the same about cross-cultural competence.
Employers in the consulting industry, on the whole, consider graduates to be sufficiently prepared in most aspects. Nevertheless, specific concerns among employers in Western Europe and the Middle East, particularly regarding cross-cultural competence and nonverbal communication skills, were underlined.
In contrast, employers in the United States express a more critical stance on graduates’ preparedness, particularly in essential communication skills like active listening, negotiating, and conflict resolution. Similarly, US employers also expressed lower confidence with how equipped graduates were in technology, software, and programming skills, which 62% of the sample overall found to become even more important over the next 5 years.
Founded in 1953, GMAC is a non-profit organisation that serves as a global association of leading graduate business schools. For over 20 years now, The Corporate Recruiters Survey has been providing data and insights to graduate business schools and employers. This year, the report came from over 1,000 surveys conducted between January and March 2023, with 34 nationalities represented.