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Journal article

Students’ workplace readiness: assessment and skill-building for graduate employability

University students Employability Skilled workforce Educational achievement Pakistan

This study introduces a new approach for the competence development of the socio-technical aspect. The curriculum of the Project Management (PM) course taught in degree programs concentrates largely on imparting technical knowledge. Current research seeks to direct the attention of the PM curriculum towards Personal Competencies as well. PM studies not only require a project to be carried out successfully but also expect students to demonstrate certain personal competencies, behaviors, and traits to effectively lead the project team. This research seeks to inform action and yield pertinent knowledge and instructional material around the desired personal competence. This study adopts an exploratory and (educational) action research approach with a quantitative mode of inquiry. The first of the four phases of this study comprises an action-based approach to find out which Personal Competence is essential for PM students. The second phase is of further follow-ups with the research subjects that indicate their lack of understanding of the PM personal competencies. The next phase employs a second survey showing that the Communication Skills of research subjects need work. The last phase offers a comprehensive training plan around the required competence, a training evaluation tool, a competence assessment exam, and tools for training and trainer feedback. The findings of this research bear immense implications for PM competence building and curriculum. The practical contribution of the study offers a way to prepare the graduates for ready employability. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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