interpersonalCompanies are eager to hire new college graduates but are finding that many lack the soft skills needed to excel in the workforce, according to a recent article by CareerBuilder. While many graduates with specialized degrees have broad technical knowledge, they lack these five skills — people skills, problem-solving skills, oral and written communication skills, and leadership skills.

Christendom College students, through their liberal arts education, certainly learn people, or interpersonal, skills and have the ability to relate well with others in any working environment. Having this essential soft skill oftentimes propels them to leadership positions.  In an article for Inside Higher Ed, author Lee Burdett Williams writes that strong interpersonal skills can make any graduate, especially one with a liberal arts degree, a more appealing hire.

“Liberal arts plus decent interpersonal skills — the ability to converse, to make eye contact, to speak in complete sentences, to recognize one’s responsibility, to listen to another perspective — equal fairly decent job prospects,” she writes.

While some companies say that recent graduates lack the necessary interpersonal skills, graduates with a liberal arts degree have a greater chance at acquiring these tools while at college.

“By studying each of the liberal arts together, rather than only focusing only on one area of study, students broaden their minds and understand reality in a more complete, more complex way, forming the ‘philosophical habit of mind’ that Blessed John Henry Newman wrote about. But, by studying the liberal arts at Christendom, students achieve even more than that — they learn in an environment that challenges them to discuss and debate subjects in and outside the classroom, with faculty, staff, and their fellow students, on a daily basis,” says director of admissions Sam Phillips.

“Christendom’s manageable size helps in this regard,” says Phillips. “By having the opportunity to have a personal relationship with every professor and every student here, students grow in the very interpersonal skills that will help them thrive in the professional world.”

According to CareerBuilder, 52% of companies believe recent college graduates are missing the interpersonal skills they need to find success after college. These abilities to converse clearly, build trust, and recognize one’s own responsibility are in huge demand — making liberal arts graduates, especially those from Christendom, that much more attractive to employers.

By studying a broad-based liberal arts curriculum in an environment whose size allows for personal interaction with every member of the community, Christendom College students learn how to relate well with others and grow in their leadership abilities, as well. Outside the classroom, students have ample opportunities to gain leadership skills through being a resident assistant, student ambassador, member of the student activities council or sports teams, or through participation in the many cultural and recreational student-led clubs and organizations.

Christendom’s education has been preparing students to become the people God has called them to be, helping them gain the valuable skills that will enhance their personal and professional lives, and enable them to achieve greatness in the professional world.

This is part two of a series focusing on the skills every graduate needs to succeed after college, which Christendom College provides for its students. Learn how Christendom equips its students with critical-thinking skills in part three of this series at christendom.edu/news.

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