Empowering students by enhancing their employability skills

Maarten van de Ven

It is increasingly clear that a discipline-specific degree is no longer sufficient for employers. Graduates must also possess an array of additional skills. These employability skills include competencies such as team working, problem solving and adaptability

Recognising the importance of graduates being equipped with appropriate employability skills alongside their subject-specific skills, the authors of this study have had transferable skills training embedded throughout their degree programmes for 30 years. More recently, they created a specific employability skills module for final-year honours students. This module consists of a programme of activities supporting employability skills, which was delivered to final-year undergraduate students from 2012 to 2015. A key feature in the development and delivery of these activities was the involvement of external experts. Detailed questionnaires have captured student perceptions of this module. The module has been perceived to be highly useful, resulting in significant increases in students’ confidence across key areas of employability skills. Furthermore, students may hold skewed perceptions of the relevance of generic employability skills to their chosen career path. This fact should be considered when delivering employability skills programmes.

More information
Fraser J. Scott, Pauline Connell, Linda A. Thomson & Debra Willison (2017): Emp…