Beyond the Business Communication Course: A Historical Perspective of the Where, Why, and How of Soft Skills Development and Job Readiness for Business Graduates
The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. XI, No. 2, June 2017, pp. 7-24
Posted: 6 Aug 2018
Date Written: 2017
The paper outlines the recent history of business graduates’ job readiness from the perspective of relevant research in the areas of workplace soft skills, training, employer perceptions, and the role of colleges and universities (beyond the business communication course) in preparing business students to enter the workforce. Also discussed are demographic trends affecting the US job market as baby boomers steadily head towards retirement and employers look to millennials to fill employment gaps. In order to provide the perspective of recent business graduates, the paper includes the findings of a survey study of 108 new hires in the US regarding their perception of the most important soft skills necessary for job effectiveness and those skills most utilized in their jobs. Oral and written communication, in addition to other related soft skills, are identified by new hires as essential to job effectiveness. From this paper, readers can fortify their historical understanding of ‘job readiness’ from both the employer and graduate standpoint, identify current soft skills trending as desired employability skills for business graduates, and ascertain where and how students can gain the necessary soft skills to be successful upon entry into the workplace.
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