Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Sernak, Kathy


High school graduates--Employment; Teenagers--Employment--United States


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to determine what employers were looking for in recent high school graduates. The study also tried to determine if high schools were currently meeting the needs of employers. A survey was sent to one hundred employers in the Southern New Jersey area asking about the importance of skills taught in high schools. Southern New Jersey is comprised of rural and suburban communities. The most widespread industries in Southern New Jersey are construction and hospitality/gaming. The survey asked questions about the importance of academic skills, social skills, work readiness skills, and higher level thinking skills. Of these surveys, forty-one surveys were returned before the cut off date of March 1, 2002. The major conclusions found from this research were that most employers felt that social skills, such as settling differences with coworkers, and basic skills such as attendance are very important skills for high school students to acquire before graduation. Employers could not agree on the importance of academic skills.