Where Have All the Writers Gone? April 1st, 2011
Most people assume that dedicated students who are enrolled in or have completed higher education courses, like undergraduate and graduate programs, know how to write not only well, but effectively as well. Although writing is not an easy skill to master, it is taught by the majority of public schools very early on and is supposed to be achieved by the time a person has completed their post-high school education. The main issue at hand is how effectively schools are teaching the basics of writing and therefore, how well people can build upon what they are taught growing up.
Employers are now worrying more because they are noticing that even graduates of top schools (in both undergraduate and graduate programs) are failing at writing reports and other important documents. These complaints have spurred graduate schools and business schools in particular, to “put more emphasis on writing amid employer complaints,” as The Wall Street Journal reported. With this said, it is critical that the weaker writers, who want to be successful in business and other professions, improve their written communication skills.
Why are Writing Skills so Important? A talented writer generally means an effective communicator. Employers know that in just about any job, employees will be required to have various types of writing skills. Although some professions require more writing than others, it is critical to realize that communication is more than just speaking to others. Various careers may entail writing reports, estimates, meeting minutes, journalism, and other types of correspondence. The clarity and vision of written reports and presentations is extremely important for business people. They need to convey their thoughts effectively to both clients and their own company.
The world today is turning toward written expression, especially with the increase in social media and the Internet. In order to be taken seriously, people (especially those in the professional world) need to be able to convey their point across the diversified population. Whether it is a company’s website, their blogs, or other forms of electronic content, communication through the written language is imperative. As The Wall Street Journal reported, “Writing affects students after they graduate, too. According to managers at packaged food company General Mills Inc., which hires roughly 50 M.B.A. graduates a year, business-school graduates are data-savvy but don’t always communicate marketing research effectively.” The challenge of having to write for multiple audiences is one of the main obstacles graduate students face when entering the workforce today.
Adding extra “fancy” words and creating confusing emails that are much longer than necessary are just a couple of the common mistakes made by today’s college graduates. For this reason, many companies keep a close eye on their new employees. For instance, “At Morgan Stanley, managers look over new hires’ emails before they’re sent out to clients,” The Wall Street Journal stated. This lack of writing talent translates to a generation that will most likely have an extremely difficult time communicating professionally with both clients and employers.
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