The debate in this country about the value of a college degree often centers around job preparation.

A new poll out Tuesday from Northeastern University finds business leaders think few recent graduates have the skills to be good workers.

The poll paints a rather bleak picture: Out of 800 business leaders polled nationally, 73 percent said there’s a shortage of necessary skills in the American workforce.

For Brian Palmer, CEO with General Electric, that shortage means not being able to find people who have the ability to use new technologies and traditional engineering skills.

“It’s not a discipline we see today is this combination of very savvy, software capable engineers that have the fundamentals of electrical, mechanical and civil,” Palmer said. “The challenges are bigger and the pools are smaller.”