THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COMPETENCES LEARNED IN THE FIRST JOB
1 CICE – ISCAP / IPP (PORTUGAL)
2 CICE & CECEJ – ISCAP / IPP (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This paper presents the results from a study conducted about the importance in the first job, of learned skills acquired at Business Simulation (BS) courses from the degree of Accounting and Administration at ISCAP / IPP. BS courses are part of the curriculum of the Accounting and Administration degree since 2003 and are an alternative to the internship to have access to the National Chamber of Accountants. In these courses, some important skills for the accountant profession are taught. These skills and competences are in line with the ones that are defined by some of the most important international organisations in this area. One of them is AICPA - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – that defined a set of core values and core competences that Certified Public Accountants must have to perform their job. This research had a qualitative approach in which semi-structure interviews were conducted to BS former students that had already started their first job. The interviews followed a structure that intends to understand some important topics, such as learned and not learned (but important) skills and competences, and strengths and weaknesses of the courses. From previous studies, we obtained information from the students’ perception of general and specific skills and competences before entering the job market. The results obtained over the last years were very favourable in terms of the skills learned and the methodology used. BS courses are provided in a simulated business environment with a learning by doing approach. The present study intends to complement and reinforces in practice the results obtained previously, since the interviewees are no longer students, but professionals. The results demonstrate that former students value in their job learned skills during BS courses, such as teamwork, communication skills, time planning and management. As they have contact with other ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, they also pointed out the need to change the non-user-friendly software in BS courses. Nevertheless, they admit the most important in BS courses learning activities were not the means (software and hardware), but especially the aims (the acquired skills and competences).
Keywords: Accountant, Business Simulation, First job, Learning by doing, Learned Skills, Accounting education.