Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Effective Communication Skills; the Missing Link in Enhancing Employability of STEM Graduates By Sindiso Zhou & Nhlanhla Landa 2 nd National Science and.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Effective Communication Skills; the Missing Link in Enhancing Employability of STEM Graduates By Sindiso Zhou & Nhlanhla Landa 2 nd National Science and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Communication Skills; the Missing Link in Enhancing Employability of STEM Graduates By Sindiso Zhou & Nhlanhla Landa 2 nd National Science and Mathematics Education Conference: Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); 20 – 22 August 2014, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe

2 PRESENTATION OUTLINE  Introduction and Background  Objectives  Definitions  Employability Framework  Conclusions and recommendations

3 I NTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND  The single most critical problem facing STEM graduates in the world today is that of securing and retaining employment  Employability extends beyond securing a job, into performance and retention of that job (Knight and York, 2002)  Another problem is finding useful graduates who add value, develop and grow in STEM fields

4 I NTRODUCTION CONT...  STEM subjects are abstract by nature  Facilitation of transfer and implementation of scientific, technological, and mathematical knowledge in industry demands deliberate, rigorous and continuous practice in effective communication skills  Transferring course material (study) into personal and professional development of our students is vital yet problematic  Employability concerns itself with individuals’ ability to find, retain, and be successful in chosen employment (not directly taught in the curriculum)

5 OBJECTIVES  Define employability  Describe effective communication skills  Link employability (industry requirements) with effective communication skills  Outline job seeking and job retention skills

6 CRITICAL QUESTIONS  Is our curriculum responding to the job market?  If so, is this link between curriculum and career paths explicit to the learner?  Are our teaching methods moulding an employable individual?  When we release graduates into the labour market, are they career ready?  Do our students understand the value of Higher Education beyond immediate subject area?  Are learning outcomes explicitly linked to employability?

7 DEFINING EMPLOYABILITY  Soft/qualitative skills  Workforce/career readiness skills  Core skills necessary for success in the workplace  forces of attraction in industry (what makes you tick as an engineer, doctor, technician, computer programmer)

8 KEY SKILLS IN STEM CAREERS There are three broad skills; Applied knowledge  Applied knowledge - academic/course knowledge as applicable to real life situations - practical application of theory gained in HE Effective Communication Skills  Effective Communication Skills - Effective Communication Skills such as proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking - Interpersonal interaction Workplace skills  Workplace skills - Critical Analysis and evaluation - Information Literacy and ICT knowledge

9 KEY COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR STEM CAREERS  Cognitive skills Involve:  being able to identify, analyze and solve problems from a body of information and from organizational relationship trends  Being able to assess data and draw logical conclusions

10 KEY COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR STEM CAREERS CONT. 2. Communication and ICT; Involve:  Teamwork  Conflict resolution  Interpersonal sensitivity  Information handling skills  Presentation skills  Self management  Time management

11 KEY COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR STEM CAREERS CONT. 3. Practical and professional skills – using experience to understand:  organizational culture,  organizational policies  organizational processes

12 EMPLOYABILITY FRAMEWORK  Enhancing employability involves developing skills through curriculum – revisiting the curriculum to link learning outcomes with employability. - Is attention necessarily drawn to the employability qualities that our courses develop?  Beyond that, employability also involves giving students a language to communicate effectively and successfully with their employers about their skills, knowledge and career potential.

13 EMPLOYABILITY FRAMEWORK CONT.  While different STEM qualifications are the requirement to get a job, the workplace is a communication network in which; - there is less theory and more practice - abstract material should be concretized - there is interaction with real people and real problems bridge the gap  to survive the above, one needs effective communication skills to bridge the gap between theory and practice

14 JOB SEEKING EXPERTISE  Searching for vacancies online and offline  Completing application forms  drafting covering letters and Curriculum Vitae/Resume in response to vacancies  Preparing for interviews  Interview etiquette

15 JOB RETENTION SKILLS JOB RETENTION SKILLS To sustain employability (staying and succeeding in a job) involves more than being qualified – it involves several communication skills; - Presentation skills - Conflict resolution skills - Report writing skills - Persuasive engagement/Team work - Cultural consciousness/sensitivity - Time management and Self management  All the above constitute effective communication skills

16 CONCLUSIONS  Our curriculum, from secondary to tertiary education, is largely silent about employability issues, yet it should consciously integrate employability as a critical component so as to avoid unemployable graduates  Effective communication skills are taught in passing yet they should be a compulsory component from entry to exit point in teaching and learning institutions

17 RECOMMENDATIONS  Programme audit – to check; - What employability skills are developed through course material? - How are the learning outcomes of your programme linked to employability skills?  HEIs should come up with checklists for course development teams and programme committees to link learning objectives and outcomes with employability potential of graduates.  Communication skills courses should not be limited to basic communication but extend to include communication for specific occupational purposes.


Download ppt "Effective Communication Skills; the Missing Link in Enhancing Employability of STEM Graduates By Sindiso Zhou & Nhlanhla Landa 2 nd National Science and."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google