Addressing the Canadian Transferable Skills Gap Through Understanding University Curriculum

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Mishra, Christine
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University of Guelph

There is a gap between the skills taught in Canada’s universities, and the transferable skills which are critical both for the labour market, and to help solve the world’s complex problems. To address this skills gap, university curriculum needs to change. I used an existing dataset (N=7,374) to determine which fields of study led to higher use of transferable skills on the job, and found that teacher training programs stood out, and that transferable skills are critical for supervisory roles. To understand how courses are designed, and where to focus efforts for change, I conducted a survey of 520 Canadian university instructors on the approaches used for course design and updating. I found that informal tools such as course outlines were used more often than curriculum documents, and that cultures of teaching excellence had an impact on how many and which types of tools instructors use to design their courses.

transferable skills, higher education, university, skill development, curriculum