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PACEspectives: The Class of 2017

News Story

This month, faculty and staff give their PACEspectives about the Pace Class of 2017, and what they will bring to the workforce.

The Class of 2017 has thrown their caps in the air, and is now off to conquer that oh-so-scary “real world.” For this month’s PACEspectives, we asked staff and faculty all around the University how the Pace Class of 2017 might fare over the next several years—we asked what characteristics are unique to this particular cohort, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how might our fresh-faced recent graduates impact the world economy at large?

Without further ado, here’s what our fellow staff and faculty had to say:

Sue Maxam, EdD
Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Education

The workforce for recent college grads has often fluctuated, but, according to CareerBuilder, 2017 is the best job market in 10 years! In a recent survey of 2,400 hiring managers and HR professionals, 74% of employers plan to hire college grads this year—up from 67% last year. However, CareerBuilder’s survey also confirmed 17% of employers think college grads lacked key skills and are not entirely ready for the workforce; many see a mismatch between the soft skills they need (e.g., people skills, problem-solving, teamwork, oral communication, leadership, written communication, and creative thinking) and graduates’ actual abilities.

Students from Pace’s Class of 2017 are particularly adaptable, strong problem solvers, and achievement-oriented, all of which are vital characteristics for the workplace. Moreover, our students learn invaluable personal and professional skills through Pace’s signature program, the Pace Path, which focuses on R.I.S.E. (R=Research, I=International, S=Service, E=Experiential) activities. These include managing oneself (i.e., the ability to navigate complex environments and relationships while maintaining a focus on educational goals and personal development); interpersonal relations (i.e., the ability to relate successfully to others within and outside one’s group); and organizational awareness (the ability to understand organizational culture and adapt and understand how to achieve personal and group goals). In short, our students leave Pace with myriad skills and strengths that will enable them to succeed at work and in life!

Brian Evans, EdD
Assistant Provost for Experiential Learning and Coordinator of the Pace Path
Professor of Mathematics Education, School of Education

Pace University’s Class of 2017 has much to contribute to the regional, national, and global economies as the majority of our graduates enter the full-time workforce for the first time. The Class of 2017 experienced what we call the Pace Path, which combines purposeful planning, academic excellence, coaching and mentoring, and experiential learning. The Pace Path, which is Pace’s signature program, is our formula for success. Graduates have not only been successful in their academic programs and courses, but many of them have participated in internships, international study abroad, student and faculty research projects, volunteer work, and have demonstrated leadership through campus clubs, organizations, and on-campus jobs. Many graduates have experienced mentoring at Pace, and others have been peer mentors for other Pace students. The transferable skills that our graduates have learned through these experiences are skills that Pace graduates will apply in any field they pursue. While technical skills are important for success, more important are adaptable skills such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving, interpersonal communication, and cross-cultural appreciation. As our graduates navigated their real-world learning during their time at Pace, they gained valuable experiences that helped shape their socioemotional intelligence, which can be one of the leading indicators for future professional success.