About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1595-1602
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0518

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

CAN WE IMPROVE BUSINESS STUDENTS’ CAREER READINESS?

N. Seth

Guttman Community College (UNITED STATES)
Studies by the US National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) find gaps between college students and employers in perceptions of students’ workplace skills. Students consider themselves better prepared to enter the job market than employers do. For this reason, US educational institutions are attempting to improve students’ employment readiness by making appropriate curricular and co-curricular changes.

In this paper, I describe the structure and implementation of a pilot that adapted an existing academic Economics course to target this goal. The direct impetus to incorporate career-focused skills comes from a couple of different directions. The first is from prospective employers and members of the advisory board for this program who have expressed their interest in hiring college graduates with stronger professional “soft” skills (such as communication, teamwork, leadership, professional responsibility, problem solving) for entry-level positions. Another is from the university of which the author’s institution is a part; it has a storied history of propelling lower-income students into the middle class, and is always seeking ways to ensure that its graduates are more career-ready.

The Economics course in question serves as a capstone for the Business Administration program at a small college, which recently opened and which strives to incorporate innovative pedagogy throughout its curriculum. Using competency guidelines from the NACE to enhance preparedness for the workplace, this paper explains how those skills are being incorporated into this course. The focus on soft skills is in tandem with conscious efforts to keep intact the economics content of the course. Combining these disparate objectives has been challenging.

The pilot described in this paper was reasonably successful. The presentation will include data collected during and after the course. That information has helped guide the further development of this course, which has evolved from having a purely economics focus to the pilot which includes a professional experience component and is now being further amended based on assessment data for its next implementation. For faculty at other colleges who wish to incorporate soft skills into their courses, such information can be instructive in terms of what worked and improvements that could be made.
@InProceedings{SETH2020CAN,
author = {Seth, N.},
title = {CAN WE IMPROVE BUSINESS STUDENTS’ CAREER READINESS?},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.0518},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.0518},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {1595-1602}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Seth
TI - CAN WE IMPROVE BUSINESS STUDENTS’ CAREER READINESS?
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.0518
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 1595
EP - 1602
ER -
N. Seth (2020) CAN WE IMPROVE BUSINESS STUDENTS’ CAREER READINESS?, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 1595-1602.
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