Assessing the importance of future soft skills
The paper investigates students' self-assessment of future skills and which they perceive as subject to improvement. Additionally, their opinions about enhancing learning environments by universities are observed, and their willingness and expected framework for acquiring future skills are examined.
Andrés Aniano Pinto Santiago & Andrea Luca Niederberger, 2021
Bachelor Thesis, Kitoko GmbH
Betreuende Dozierende: Stephan Burkart
Keywords: Future Skills, Labour Market, Competencies, Graduates, Self-Assessment
The labour market developed due to various changes over recent years. A shift in the importance of soft skills is observable, whereby widespread skills are enhanced and expanded through those new trends. Thus, especially for graduates, entry into the labour market poses a challenge. Within existing literature, graduates' preparedness regarding bringing an appropriate level of soft skills when entering the labour market has not been focused on so far. It is broadly unidentified if students feel ready for the professional world or which learning environments would help for improvements.
In this paper, a mixed-method approach is pursued. The quantitative research with students to self-assess their abilities in future skills and rate their learning environments is conducted with an online survey among the partners University of Applied Science FHNW and University of Zurich UZH. The foundation of the questionnaire is a model of competencies, which was created out of the existing literature. The qualitative research consists of interviews with three experts from the economy, sharing their experience and stating their outside perception of graduates entering the labour market.
The results show that students generally assess themselves reasonably well. The students from FHNW and UZH, the investigated partners, share similar outcomes. Interpersonal skills are perceived as the most significant competence set, whereas digital skills are not considered highly crucial. The analysis indicates a need for systematic change for universities in more practice and network-oriented approaches to acquire or promote novel future skills. Interviewed experts are mainly in accordance with the students' assessments and express areas for improvements for both students and high education institutes.
As the urgent need for structural changes within university systems is indicated by both students surveyed and the expert interviewed, Kitoko Ltd. has the potential to partner with high school institutes and be integrated into curricula. Offers for students to promote particular future skills can also be an opportunity. This offers, however, must be implemented innovatively and carefully as students assess their ability in future skills as acceptably well in general.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit: HR & Organisation