The study incorporates an analysis of the performance of higher education system (the Bologna Model) from the perspective of evaluations made by companies. The main objective is to identify the competence areas required from fresh graduates for sustaining the contention of business enterprises and to analyse investments made by companies for developing talents within the framework of pressure generated by the economic crisis. The study take into consideration the partnership between the economic environment and higher education institutions as well as an anticipation of occupation trends for young graduates based on employee forecasts. Research results demonstrate the fact that the education system relies mainly on a transfer of knowledge and not on developing the competencies necessary for enhancing the employment chances of graduates or on their job performance. Only two out of ten employers are satisfied by the competencies demonstrated by graduates, the statistics being similar to the number of employers who collaborate with higher education institutions for providing adequate study programmes. From amongst the companies declaring that they provide continual development programmes, most invest in courses related to communication, team work and client orientation, although they are not satisfied with the graduates’ abilities in solving problems, making decisions or in leadership. A weak collaboration between companies and educational institutions generates a lack of rapid response from the educational system to the requirements of the market economy, amplifying the deficiency of competences, especially in fields with continual technological development or in those where new occupations are constantly appearing.