Graduate Employability: Views of Recent Science Graduates and Employers

Mahbub Sarkar, Tina Overton, Christopher Thompson, Gerry Rayner

Abstract


Graduate employability is an important issue for higher education as the global financial crisis has led to a significant decline in the employment prospects of new graduates over the past few years. This issue is additionally important due to the reported dissatisfaction of many employers with graduates’ ability to contribute effectively to the workplace. The Graduate Employability for Monash Science (GEMS) Project seeks to address these problems by exploring the skills needs of recent science graduates and their employers and, importantly, designing interventions that will inculcate such skills and attributes into undergraduate students via the curricula. This paper presents some initial results from the investigation of recent science graduates’ and employers’ views of employability skills needs. More specifically, this paper will discuss: (a) whether there is a mismatch between the knowledge and skills developed through undergraduate study and those actually required in post-graduation activities, (b) what knowledge and skills employers view as important when employing graduates in the current and future work climate, and (c) what graduates and employers consider universities can do to better support employment for graduates.

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