Prepared to work? Voices from graduates and employers. ISEP- Polytechnic of Porto
15th May, 9H40, Room H202, ISEP-Polytechnic of Porto
Diana Aguiar Vieira, Ana Paula Marques & Laura Gil Costa
13-17 May 2015
School of Engineering, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
The complexity and instability that characterizes the current labour market have brought new challenges to the employability of recent graduates. The study “Prepared to work” identified and analysed the transversal and professional skills (“soft skills”) used by graduates in their professional activity, and analysed employers’ perspectives about the preparation of graduates on that skills. From the literature review there were selected twenty transversal skills that were assed in the form of a questionnaire, together with one question about a technical-scientific skill. The quantitative approach of the study “Prepared to work” included 6444 graduates (average age of 29) who concluded their Bachelor or Master degree between 2008 and 2013, and 781 employers (aged from 31 to 45). The results of this study showed that 73% of the graduates were working (over 80% worked in their field of study) and about 90% were satisfied with their current work. All transversal and professional skills evaluated in this study were used by graduates in their professional activity and the contribution of internship and participation in extra-curricular activities to the development of the “soft skills” was identified. Employers evaluated positively graduates´ preparation in all transversal and professional skills, assenting with the graduates on the four skills elected to be the most important for the next five years. This study showed that, generically, graduates are “prepared to work” and that employers acknowledge it.