Employer demands from business graduates

  • Stephen McMurray, Matthew Dutton, Ronald McQuaid, Alec Richard
  • Education + Training, January 2016, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/et-02-2014-0017

What is it about?

This paper reports on research carried out with employers to determine demand for graduate business and management skills in the Scottish workforce. The research used an employer questionnaire distributed through various methods (either telephone or face-to-face interviews, self-completion and returned by e-mail, or completion of an online survey). 71 employers took part in the study. The research found that the factors which were most important to employers when recruiting graduates, with a business school first degree, were: personal attitude, employability skills, relevant work experience, and degree result. The most important transferable skills to employers when recruiting graduates were: trustworthiness, reliability, motivation, communication skills and a willingness to learn. The article shows the importance of: graduates developing excellent job searching skills; high quality work experience; and developing business courses that enhance students’ employability and better reflect employers’ requirements but also reflect important wider educational values.

Why is it important?

The article is timely given the introduction by Higher Education Institutions of Key Information Sets. The provision of such information may drive HEIs to further develop students’ employability so as to support them in obtaining graduate level jobs.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Ronald W McQuaid