EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS OF RECENT GRADUATES: HIRING, MATCHING SKILLS AND JOBS, AND DIFFICULTIES FINDING A JOB IN PRE-ECONOMIC AND ECONOMIC CRISIS
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The main objective of this paper is to analyse three of the more relevant factors in relation to employability skills of recent graduates: hiring, matching skills and jobs, and difficulties finding a job. Taking into account the current economic context and its relation to labor market, these three dimensions are studied in three years related to pre-economic and economic crisis: 2008, 2011 and 2014. This paper uses different variables related to hiring (8 indicators), matching skills and jobs (14 indicators) and difficulties finding a job (7 indicators) from the survey of the employment outcomes of the graduate population from Catalan universities, a research project coordinated by the Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (AQU).
Exploratoy Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) done with skills developed and learnt in traditional universities prove that:
i) hiring has three components: management, theoretical-practical, and instrumental (N>=10,000, p=0.000, CFI>=0.958, SRMR<=0.049, RMSEA<=0.079, in 2008, 2011 and 2014;
ii) matching skills and jobs has five components: management, theoretical-practical, instrumental, academic, and communication (N>=12,000, p=0.000, CFI>=0.945, SRMR<=0.03, RMSEA<=0.075, in 2008, 2011 and 2014); and
iii) difficulties finding a job has three components: instrumental, personal aspiration, and employability (N>=375, p<=0.100, CFI>=0.960, SRMR<=0.038, RMSEA<=0.074, in 2008, 2011 and 2014).
Results allow us to observe that, both in periods prior to the economic crisis and during periods of economic crisis:
i) the dimensions associated with skills learnt in tradicional universities, which are related to hiring, matching skills and jobs, and difficulties finding a job, remain constant over time;
ii) the number of factors associated to each dimension of skills linked to hiring, matching skills and jobs, and difficulties finding a job is kept constant;
iii) management, theoretical-practical, and instrumental skills are necessary factors in hiring, matching skills and jobs;
iv) instrumental skills are relevant in hiring, matching skills and jobs, and difficulties finding a job.
Consequently, affinities between dimensions and professional skills are found, helping to suggest a recommendation for developing certain skills in degree programmes that want to prepare their students to success in finding a job.
Keywords: Skills, employability, education, undergraduate, labor market.