Rainsbury, E., Hodges, D., Burchell, N. & Lay, M. C. (2002). Ranking workplace competencies: Student and graduate perceptions. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 3(2), 8-18.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3219
Students and graduates from a variety of business studies programs at a New Zealand tertiary institution completed a questionnaire in which they ranked the relative importance of a list of 24 competencies for graduates entering the workforce using a 7-point Likert scale. These competencies were identified from literature reports of the characteristics of superior performers in the workplace. The results show a close similarity between students and graduates’ ranking of competencies with computer literacy, customer service orientation, teamwork and co-operation, self-confidence, and willingness to learn ranked most important. There was little difference between the two groups in their rankings of cognitive or ‘hard’ skills and behavioral or ‘soft’ skills. However, the graduates placed greater importance on most of the competencies, resulting in a statistically significant difference between the graduates and students’ ranking of both hard and soft skills. The findings from this study suggest that cooperative education programs may help develop business students’ awareness of the importance of graduate competencies in the workplace.
University of Waikato
This article has been published in the journal: Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education. Used with permission.