Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Competences acquisition of university students: Do they match job market’s needs?

Maria Pujol-Jover, Carme Riera-Prunera, Gemma Abio


Purpose: This paper aims at analyzing the skills and competences acquired by students
during their university studies, in order to identify the extent to which they fit into
society’s labor market demands.
Design/methodology/approach: We use data from a survey for firm supervisors
corresponding to practices in the Faculty of Economics and Business for the course
2013-14. We analyze the achievement of basic and specific competences and other
training project skills, distinguishing by degrees.
Findings: Companies find some lacks in the ability to manage time properly, in being
versatile, in the communication skills, the ability to work as a team and specially in
having an entrepreneurial view. At the university level, this requires training processes
more oriented towards experimentation and problem solving.
Research limitations/implications: The database used refers only to one Faculty of
the University of Barcelona. It would be interesting to collect more data and extend the
results to a more general context.
Practical implications: It might be interesting both for firms and universities to move
closer to one another in a cooperative way. More programs are needed to further enhance the employability of graduates and encourage the mobility of teachers in order
for them to spend some time performing their research directly at a firm.
Originality/value: This paper explores the immediate and direct relationship
established between the university and the labor market through the training period
students make during the final stages of their studies.

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