Date of Conferral







Dr. Carol Wells


In 2013, roughly 7% of college graduates under 25 could not find employment, and about 37% were underemployed. Public university tuition costs increased by 42% between 1999 and 2012, and 71% of college graduates have an average of $29,400 in outstanding student debt. Employers for several decades have complained about how higher educational institutions have failed to deliver graduates with developed nontechnical skills comprising (a) work ethic, (b) communication, (c) organization, (d) problem solving, and (e) teamwork. The purpose of this qualitative archival study was to assess and explore integrating the nontechnical skills that businesses require to hire graduates immediately after graduation. The samples were from 24 public and 24 private nonprofit 4-year business school curricular programs selected from 12 states within three of the six regional accrediting commissions in the United States. The research question focused on how education contributes to increased skills, productivity, and earnings, applying the human capital theory as the conceptual framework. Data gathering involved public access curriculum publications and digital advertisements. Finding 25 showed soft skills (6%), nontechnical (2%), and work ethic (0%) results for all regions. Finding 26 Region 1 showed soft skills (0%) and nontechnical (0%) results. Finding 27 Region 2 showed soft skills (6%) and nontechnical (0%) results. Finding 28 Region 3 showed soft skills (6%) and nontechnical (0%) results. Therefore, 4-year business schools did not prioritize soft and nontechnical skills with decades of complaints. The results of this research may contribute to positive social change by encouraging curriculum developers to restructure business schools’ curriculum development.