Expected Competencies from University Graduates for Employment in Serbia
Research Question: This paper investigates into which competencies and competency areas are essential for graduates to be employable in Serbia. Motivation: The research was conducted with the aim to recommend to the Faculty of Organizational Sciences to adjust their curriculum, so that graduates could acquire competencies necessary for employment at junior positions. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, the paper includes required competencies according to popular reports, analysis of vacancies for junior positions in the field of Management and IT, focus groups and surveys conducted in companies in Serbia. Idea: The main idea of the research was to empirically evaluate the need and importance of general competencies for performing a job at junior positions. Participants in the research were experts from human resource management departments and domain experts from different fields who participate in the selection process. Data: During the research, 52 competencies from world reports, 60 competencies from open job vacancies, and 69 competencies during the focus group were analyzed. The questionnaire was created based on 29 competencies that were results from the qualitative research and filled out by 118 representatives from companies from different business domains. Tools: Content analysis of reports and vacancy ads, focus group report and statistical analysis of survey data (t test, Principal component analysis) were used to draw conclusions about required competencies for junior positions in the Serbian market and to categorize them. Findings: Competencies that are expected from future employees are to be socially skilled leaders capable of solving problems and intrinsically motivated to create and to be productive. Above all, they should be able to learn continuously. Specifically, when comparing managerial junior positions to junior IT professionals, it seems more important to be competitive, have strong presentation skills and to be conscientious. Contribution: Competencies important for graduates’ employability in Serbia are identified and grouped in different competency areas based on what universities’ curricula could be adapted.
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