Graduate Competencies for the Business Workplace

Year: 1995

Author: Sinclair, Kenneth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The study was commissioned by the Business/Higher Education Round Table. Its focus is on the career progression of university graduates in the first ten years of their work experience. In the study, views of those graduates about characteristics and competencies important for their careers so far and their future careers are surveyed. Also surveyed are their attitudes and views about the influences on their careers of their university education, and education and training received in the workplace. The survey respondents were 261 graduates with up to ten yearsA experience working in 11 large Australian companies.

The survey identified and ranked in order of importance sets of competencies and other characteristics perceived by graduate employees to be predictive of career success and attaining the highest level positions in their companies. An analysis was also made of the changes occurring in the relative importance of skills and personal qualities needed as staff progress in their careers and assume positions of greater responsibility.

Further questions surveyed the graduatesA views as to what was particularly valued in their university education and what were considered to be serious deficiencies. In addition, the graduates were asked to assess the relative influence of the home, school, university and workplace on their current abilities and personal attributes. The findings confirm that the workplace is a powerful learning environment strongly influencing the graduatesA further development of communication and thinking skills, skills in cooperation and teamwork, and professional knowledge and its workplace application. A final set of questions addressed the graduatesA level of job satisfaction, rate of career progression and level of workplace stress experienced.