What is it about?

In their college courses, undergraduates in psychology develop their knowledge of the discipline and refine important skills such as writing, critical thinking, and working with others. We wanted to know which particular skills and knowledge students thought were important to focus on NOW for success after college. We compared their responses to what employers say they are looking for in new college hires. There was some overlap in the responses of students and employers and some divergence.

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Why is it important?

If students understand that their assignments are opportunities to refine skills and develop knowledge, then they can better focus their previous time and energy in a most effective way. At the same time, if faculty can better communicate the skills and knowledge that their assignments hone, then perhaps students can make the most of their class work.


As a faculty member and the first in my family to graduate from college, I want to pull back the curtain so students can see the hidden curriculum. If students better understand the focus of their assignments, then they can take full advantage of the opportunities to hone their skills and learn new things.

Jennifer Dyer-Seymour

As an undergraduate and first-generation student during the entire research process of this paper, I was able to gather insight into what my peers were perceiving of a recent college graduate of psychology. This was an interesting way of observing what fellow psychology students perceive when watching a mock job interview, and depending on what is articulated in that conversation, the subjectively rated potential likelihood of receiving the job. As a recent college graduate of psychology now and preparing for the workforce, I look back on this study I co-created with Dr. Dyer-Seymour and am grateful to share our findings with the research world. I hope our study can be followed up on and replicated further for deeper insight into the minds of both the undergraduate psychology student and potential future employer.

Cameron Battersby
California State University Monterey Bay

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: What is most important to focus on now for success after college? Students’ responses mirror and diverge from what employers consider essential skills., Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, July 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/stl0000285.
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