Graduate employability skills in
Taiwanese business education
Jean-Sebastien Goyette
Agenda
• Context of study
• Original research
• Preliminary results
• Updated research
• Employability model
• Current res...
Context of study
• Globalization
– Increased competition
– Global SME’s
• Increased access to higher education
– Decreased...
Context of study
• Co-existence of unemployment and vacancies
• New employer expectations
– Skills, knowledge and ongoing ...
Initial research topic
• Influence of postgraduate business program
skills development on career success in Taiwan
(focus ...
21st century curriculum?
• Alumni anecdotal evidence:
– Finding position matching expectations
– Staying in same company f...
Concerned groups
1. Students & graduates
2. Employers
3. Higher education institutions
• Others
– Government
– Society (e....
International Trade Institute (ITI)
• Part of Taiwan External Trade Development
Council
• 1-2 year postgraduate program
– ...
Step 1: Taiwan’s business programs
• Similar foundation
– Strong focus on professional knowledge
• Marketing, finance, HR
...
Step 2: Alumni placement
• Majority in sales & marketing
• Industries
– Computer hardware (e.g. ASUS)
– Consumer electroni...
Step 3: Employer requirements
• Analysis of postings sent to ITI
– Education
– Skills:
• Language
• Sales & marketing
• Re...
Step 4: Pilot interviews
• 40 invitations
– 25% positive response rate
• 5 students from different concentrations
– Skype ...
Preliminary findings
• Curriculum isn’t central
• Passive experience – follow process:
– Focus on goal of getting job
– Tr...
Focus on English classes
• Seldom used at work
• Focus on associated classes
Business curriculum
hours (Chinese)
English c...
Graduate employability skills
• “soft”, “transferable” or “generic” skills
– Flexibility, creativity, independence
– Commu...
Employment Vs. Employability
• Employment - short term
– Percentage of employed graduates
• Employability – long term
– Ac...
Research questions
• What employability skills are required in order for
a recent graduate to successfully:
– Obtain emplo...
Gaps in literature
• Previous emphasis on Western countries
– UK, USA & Australia
• Little research on Taiwan, Greater Chi...
USEM model (Knight & Yorke, 2003)
Skillful practices
Metacognition
Understanding
Efficacy beliefs
Employability
Alternative models of employability
• Psycho-Social Model (Fugate et al., 2004)
Alternative models of employability
• CareerEDGE Model (Dacre Pool & Sewell,
2007)
Alternative models of employability
• Bridgstock’s employability model (2009)
Alternative models of employability
• CBI/NUS Model
USEM model (Knight & Yorke, 2003)
• Research with recent graduates (less than 5
years)
• Lead back to curriculum (e.g. cha...
Updated sample
• 2 year “Double Major” program
– 50% business (in Mandarin Chinese)
– 50% English
• 30-35 hours of classes...
Updated sample
• Minimize difference between interviewee
– Education level (B.A.)
– Minimal (or no) work experience
– Flue...
Current process
• Updating employability literature review
• 2nd round of interviews
• Analysis
– Compare with advertised ...
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Presentation to cohort (2014 06) - draft 6 (2014-06-22)

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Presentation to cohort (2014 06) - draft 6 (2014-06-22)

  1. 1. Graduate employability skills in Taiwanese business education Jean-Sebastien Goyette
  2. 2. Agenda • Context of study • Original research • Preliminary results • Updated research • Employability model • Current research
  3. 3. Context of study • Globalization – Increased competition – Global SME’s • Increased access to higher education – Decreased value of degree
  4. 4. Context of study • Co-existence of unemployment and vacancies • New employer expectations – Skills, knowledge and ongoing training • Lack of agreement between: – Employers – HEIs – Graduates
  5. 5. Initial research topic • Influence of postgraduate business program skills development on career success in Taiwan (focus on student’s perspective) • Goal to better prepare graduates for the workplace
  6. 6. 21st century curriculum? • Alumni anecdotal evidence: – Finding position matching expectations – Staying in same company for more than 1-2 years – Fulfilling employer expectations (sales, e-business, IT) • Evolution of curriculum (or lack of) – Generic core classes – Lack of adaptation to current demands
  7. 7. Concerned groups 1. Students & graduates 2. Employers 3. Higher education institutions • Others – Government – Society (e.g. economic development)
  8. 8. International Trade Institute (ITI) • Part of Taiwan External Trade Development Council • 1-2 year postgraduate program – Focus on business & languages • Goals – Provide skilled labor – Promote international trade – Increase network (HEIs & companies)
  9. 9. Step 1: Taiwan’s business programs • Similar foundation – Strong focus on professional knowledge • Marketing, finance, HR – Distinction in specializations (small proportion) • Differences ITI’s curriculum – Short courses with practical focus – Industry lecturers – Strong focus on languages (English/Japanese)
  10. 10. Step 2: Alumni placement • Majority in sales & marketing • Industries – Computer hardware (e.g. ASUS) – Consumer electronics (e.g. HTC) – Semiconductor & optoelectronics (e.g. TSMC) • Strong SME presence – Same requirements, fewer resources
  11. 11. Step 3: Employer requirements • Analysis of postings sent to ITI – Education – Skills: • Language • Sales & marketing • Research • IT – Business & management experience – Personality
  12. 12. Step 4: Pilot interviews • 40 invitations – 25% positive response rate • 5 students from different concentrations – Skype interviews • Goals: – Test assumptions – Improve questionnaire – Examine different concentrations
  13. 13. Preliminary findings • Curriculum isn’t central • Passive experience – follow process: – Focus on goal of getting job – Trust program will deliver this • Merger of business subjects • Request to go outside curriculum
  14. 14. Focus on English classes • Seldom used at work • Focus on associated classes Business curriculum hours (Chinese) English curriculum hours Meetings 3 48 Negotiations 12 48 Presentations 6 48 Job search 7 48 Report writing 3 48
  15. 15. Graduate employability skills • “soft”, “transferable” or “generic” skills – Flexibility, creativity, independence – Communication, teamwork – Self-reflection, time management • General definition (Knight & Yorke, 2003) – “A set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that make individuals more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy”
  16. 16. Employment Vs. Employability • Employment - short term – Percentage of employed graduates • Employability – long term – Acquisition (of a position) – Transition (into the workforce) – Development (of a career)
  17. 17. Research questions • What employability skills are required in order for a recent graduate to successfully: – Obtain employment – Transition into this new position – Facilitate career progression • Which of these employability skills are successfully taught in business programs? • How can business programs incorporate these employability skills in a curriculum?
  18. 18. Gaps in literature • Previous emphasis on Western countries – UK, USA & Australia • Little research on Taiwan, Greater China, or East Asia • Lack of focus on student experience
  19. 19. USEM model (Knight & Yorke, 2003) Skillful practices Metacognition Understanding Efficacy beliefs Employability
  20. 20. Alternative models of employability • Psycho-Social Model (Fugate et al., 2004)
  21. 21. Alternative models of employability • CareerEDGE Model (Dacre Pool & Sewell, 2007)
  22. 22. Alternative models of employability • Bridgstock’s employability model (2009)
  23. 23. Alternative models of employability • CBI/NUS Model
  24. 24. USEM model (Knight & Yorke, 2003) • Research with recent graduates (less than 5 years) • Lead back to curriculum (e.g. changes) • Adaptable by design – Database of core questions – Successfully implemented in past decade
  25. 25. Updated sample • 2 year “Double Major” program – 50% business (in Mandarin Chinese) – 50% English • 30-35 hours of classes/ week – Similar structure to MBA + language classes • 2 month internship abroad (USA or Ireland)
  26. 26. Updated sample • Minimize difference between interviewee – Education level (B.A.) – Minimal (or no) work experience – Fluent Mandarin Chinese & upper intermediate to advanced English – Taiwanese nationality – No international experience (study or work)
  27. 27. Current process • Updating employability literature review • 2nd round of interviews • Analysis – Compare with advertised skills (job ads) – Compare with program promised skills • Embedding strategy

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