The head of the Irish division of a global company says Leaving Cert students are missing out on building important skills because of the focus on clocking up CAO points.
The warning comes on the back of a survey showing a disconnect between how well business and teachers think students are prepared for the world of work.
While 66pc of teachers believe their pupils are equipped for the future workforce, 42pc of employers think the opposite.
The survey by professional services company Accenture also shows only 36pc of businesses believe education is moving in the same direction as industry.
Employers showed strong support for the development of "soft skills" such as communications, work ethic, teamwork and problem-solving among students as the best defence in terms of preparing them for an unknown future workplace.
In the accompanying Learning to Lead report, Accenture's country managing director for Ireland Alastair Blair says while Ireland has a fine education system there were challenges at second-level, "where the focus is more on aptitude than attitude".
He said the Leaving Cert rewards people who have "the aptitude to knuckle down and do what's required" to achieve points. But young people with the right attitude - an openness to learning and an adaptability - are much better equipped for taking on board new skills that will serve them well in future jobs.