College Graduates Want More Life Skills to Succeed

By: Anneken Tappe · April 02, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

It seems fair to assume that recent graduates have been equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the labor market, but as much as a third of recent high school and university grads don’t feel that they have the core skills to succeed in life, according to a study from study tools company Quizlet.

Core Skill Confidence

Courses like math and science can prepare students for a job in technical fields. However, graduates have less confidence in handling everyday tasks like managing their money, car maintenance, insurance issues, home repairs, or even cooking. More than two-thirds of respondents said non-academically focused courses would better prepare them for the real world.

Personal finances was a particular pain point for respondents: Nearly 80% of recent graduates reported feeling overwhelmed by financial planning, with almost a third saying it negatively impacts their mental health.

Tax planning, emergency savings, debt management, and credit scores were among the specific areas that caused the most stress. A majority of recent graduates also said they weren’t confident in their ability to manage long-term finances through investing or retirement accounts.

Adulting 101

Across generations, from Gen Z to Boomers, financial literacy was cited as the top non-academic course students believe they would have benefited from. While some schools have started offering financial courses, they’re not standard.

In the absence of formal education teaching these critical life skills, students are turning to social media, friends and family, or simply trial and error. But these are imperfect solutions to a very real problem.

If you’re looking for online resources to boost your financial knowledge, SoFi might be able to help. Check out our free learning tools on Coursera .

Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!

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