Transferable skills: A student perspective

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University of Guelph

Abstract

University graduates do not have the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace. To address this skills gap there have been calls for universities to improve transferable skill education. To accomplish this, it is important to understand students’ attitudes and motivations. To better understand Canadian undergraduate students’ attitudes about and motivation to develop transferable skills in their education I created and distributed a survey to students at the University of Guelph in all disciplines and year levels. I also developed and delivered a scientific inquiry workshop, delivered in two different contexts (biology-specific, and general). I found that students in all year levels have a positive attitude about and are motivated to develop transferable skills, with students mostly focused on the value of transferable skills for employment. Students are also frustrated with current transferable skill education. There is also indication that students feel differently about developing transferable skills in different contexts.

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Keywords

transferable skills, higher education, attitude, motivation, student perceptions

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