What skills are expected of graduates?
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, employers expect the following from university graduates:
‘Employers expect graduates to demonstrate a range of skills and attributes that include team-working, communication, leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and often managerial abilities or potential. Employers are frustrated that higher education courses do not meet their needs.’
This was, according to the report, one of the findings in a survey carried out by educational charity Edge. The survey also found, apparently, that in the UK a significant minority of employers felt that these skills and attributes were often not found in graduates.
There is as we know already a lively debate in higher education about the extent to which universities should be training students for work. The question of transferable skills adds an additional element to this debate.
The skills and attributes mentioned in the Daily Telegraph article are certainly of direct benefit to graduates and their employers. But to what extent are they, even indirectly, what universities believe they are teaching students? Is it time for higher education institutions to assess their own programmes to determine the extent to which students graduating from these programmes are likely to be able to satisfy employer requirements?