Global Study from Instructure Shows Higher Education Gets Students Two-thirds Prepared for Careers

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Instructure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and creator of the Canvas learning management system (LMS), today announced the results of a study that addresses how well a college education prepares students for their careers across the globe. Polling nearly 8,000 current and former students in the United States, Australia, China, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Sweden, South Africa and elsewhere, Instructure found that only 8.4 percent of respondents felt that college fully prepared them for their career.

"Beyond the liberal arts, higher education is being asked to ensure students have mastered competencies that lead to careers in their fields. We wanted to discover how well colleges are doing in the eyes of students, and whether their perspective changes when they enter the workforce," said Jared Stein, VP of Research and Education at Instructure."By focusing on student attitudes toward career preparedness and lifelong learning, this study gives some insight into how education can adapt to the changing expectations for higher education."

The study suggests that students tend to have higher expectations for how well college is preparing them for their careers while they are in school than after they leave: 11.3 percent of current students believe college is "fully preparing" them for the workplace, but only 5.7 percent of former students now in the workforce believe college fully prepared them for their job.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Graduates with a four-year degree were able to land a job in their field 70 percent of the time, while students who attended two years but did not get a degree were only able to land a job 42 percent of the time.
  • Participants felt only 67.7 percent prepared for their careers after receiving a post-secondary education.
  • Students who enter a field related to their major feel college prepared them significantly more for the workforce than those who did not. Respondents who work in a field related to their major say college prepared them 71.3 percent for their careers, whereas students who work outside their field of study say college only made them 47 percent prepared for their job.

"Higher Ed faces a challenge today in delivering on the promise of career preparedness," Stein said. "However, it's becoming increasingly clear that students must also develop the skills and habits for self-directed, lifelong learning. This will allow them to adapt to not just uncertainty in the job market, but also new skill requirements that emerge within a field, and even entirely new fields or career paths."

This online survey was conducted by polling 7,848 current and former students in 14 different countries: Denmark, United States, Australia, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, South Africa, Colombia, Japan, Norway, Brazil, Sweden, Turkey and China. The survey was translated and distributed via Qualtrics. For more information on this study, check out the white paper at

About Instructure:

Instructure, Inc. is the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes software that makes people smarter. With a vision to help maximize the potential of people through technology, Instructure created Canvas and Bridge to enable organizations everywhere to easily develop, deliver and manage engaging face-to-face and online learning experiences. To date, Instructure has connected millions of teachers and learners at more than 1,400 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world. Learn more about Canvas for higher ed and K-12, and Bridge for the corporate market at


Devin Knighton, Director of Public Relations at Instructure
(801) 722-8187  |  [email protected]
Twitter: @devinknighton  |
Jessica Hutchison, Method Communications
(801) 461-9799 | [email protected]

Instructure, Canvas, the Instructure logo, Canvas logo, and Bridge logo are registered trademarks of Instructure, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names may be claimed as the property of others.

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SOURCE Instructure