Exploration of Employability Skills in Business Management Studies Within Higher Education Levels: Systematic Literature Review

Exploration of Employability Skills in Business Management Studies Within Higher Education Levels: Systematic Literature Review

Husam Helmi Alharahsheh (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK) and Abraham Pius (Arden University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5345-9.ch064
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Abstract

Higher education in the United Kingdom is becoming more responsible to focus beyond teaching and learning process; this is evolving to further reflect the needs of the marketplace, engagement with firms within the industry, responsibility to enhance talent, and to close the skills gap to prepare students for employment opportunities during studies and after graduation. The purpose of this study is to provide the key employability skills in business management studies within higher education with further focus on the UK as one of the leading Western and knowledge-based economies through a systematic literature review process. The study also aims to highlight employability skills reported in the selected studies by categorising them into three main categories: very common employability skills required, common employability skills required, and uncommon employability skills required. However, throughout the studies included in the review, focus on specific skills varied due to the way researchers assessed as well as external factors taken into consideration such as cultural differences, external environment changes, the type of educational institutions, and the way curriculum was delivered, as well as the variations of specific interests of employers from a sector to another. The review is organised in six key sections: Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results and Analysis, Discussion, and lastly, Conclusion and Implications. The reported employability skills resulted in the review can be taken into consideration to further enhance understanding of how employability skills can be embedded into curriculum within business management schools in the UK and other organisations that are responsible for articulation of employment related policies for students and recent graduates. The review can also establish that enhancement of employability skills should be a collective responsibility including universities, employers, policymakers, and students to ensure that educational outcomes are meeting the needs of the market. Higher education providers should aim to close the gap of employability by the point of graduation stage and to be ready to compete in the overcrowded labour market.
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Literature Review

It was discussed that employers in the domestic and international labour markets are being increasingly demandingas there is intense competition for available vacancies within markets due to various external factors such as economic uncertainty. Therefore, employers are aiming to employ more skilled and educated graduates reflecting key employability skills as discussed in the introduction (Harvey et al., 1997; Lee, 2002; Mason, 2003; Rothwell & Arnold., 2007). Based on this consideration, UK government is passing the message to students in higher education to consider their studies as an investment, this would reflect significant benefits in meeting the demands of the labour market (Tomlinson, 2008).

What are employability skills?

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