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Afroze Rumana (East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh), Eva Tamanna Parvin (East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh), Sarker Atiqur Rahman (East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Int. Islamic University of Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia)
Do Soft Skills Matter? A Study on Employability of Engineering Graduates in Bangladesh
Journal of Intercultural Management, 2019, vol. 11, nr 3, s. 21-44, rys., tab., aneks, bibliogr. 48 poz.
Absolwenci szkół wyższych, Kształcenie inżynierów, Umiejętności pracownicze, Zatrudnialność
Higher education graduates, Education of engineers, Employee skills, Employability
JEL Classification: A23, J24, E24
Objective: University graduates in Bangladesh are presently confronted with high job competition. Because of less job availability, engineering graduates are facing more challenges in getting job opportunities than business graduates. Moreover, engineering graduates are more proficient in technical skills than with their human skills. The most important barrier for engineering graduates' employability at their initial stage of career is that they have less focus on acquisition of their soft skills. Therefore, this study is concentrating to analyse the current situation of the engineering graduates' soft skills deficiency and to investigate the impact of having soft skills on employability.
Methodology: The nature of the study is qualitative and data has been gathered through indepth interview and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Respondents of in-depth interview are experienced engineers and HR experts who are working in engineering based organizations especially at the power solution service providing companies in Bangladesh. FGD among final year undergraduate engineering students has also been conducted to validate the interview data. Thematic analysis is used to analyse the qualitative data.
Findings: The impact of having soft skills in getting employment of new graduates at the entry level is identified in this paper.
Value Added: Higher education can assist in developing employability through increasing employment prospect and also achieving individual learning goals. However, fresh engineering graduates have social skills gap and lack of practical knowledge which can be reduced through acquiring soft skills. Different techniques such as self-training, institutional training, joining language sessions, attending presentation skills development classes and social programs can assist graduates in the acquisition of soft skills.
Recommendations: As the most important reason of engineers' unemployment is the lacking of collaboration between industry and academic institutions, this study focuses to draw the attention of engineering students, educational institutes and policy makers to highlight the importance of developing soft skills for employability and career growth. (original abstract)
Full text
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