This article contains a personal reflection about the differences between the competencies that companies ask for and those that are taught at University Centres, as a result of what experts said at the Zaragoza Forum for Employment Advancement on September 13th, 2016 which I attended. (Video Summary here).
It’s a message similar to the one I’ve been hearing in all of the positions related to Employment and Orientation.
At University they ought to teach competencies, emotional intelligence, languages, how to use Information and Communications technologies and social networks well, and above all attitude.
Some quotes from the experts who took part in the round-table discussions:
“The value of a person = (Knowledge + Abilities) x Attitude” (José Luis Latorre, DGA).
At Piquer during the individual orientation process we cultivate the competencies of each individual so that they can demonstrate their talent.” “Our future employees have been able to be followers of our company on Social Networks and they’ve come to love our brand.” (Teresa Díaz, Grupo Piquer).
“At our company we give opportunity to those who have talent = ATTITUDE to want to gain APTITUDE” (Juan Pardo, Implaser)
In summary: businesses look for much more than knowledge (they are becoming more and more obsolete) and an official degree.
They look to find the worker who can perform from the very start, not constantly having to tell them what to do, and they expect ideas, contacts, and commitment from them.
This outcome agrees with the numerous articles that indicate time and again the importance of competencies which can be developed in a formal setting (educational centres) and in informal settings (volunteering, leisure activities).
This article names the 10 most demanded competencies by businesses:
- Adequate and continuing education. They say that before the age of 38 one will have changed jobs, on average, 15 times, so it’s important to have the ability to adapt.
- International experience (how to coexist with people from different cultures)
- Client and result-oriented
- Previous experience
- Perseverance and Humility
- Added Value
They say that the majority (65%) of the members of the so-called Generation Z (those born after 1990) will work in newly created positions. Abilities such as information filtering, social intelligence, or intercultural experience will be basic requirements.
Evidentemente elegir una carrera con salidas siempre suma puntos adicionales. Como Administración de Empresas e Informática, que siempre aparecen en el top de las carreras más demandas, por ejemplo en este ranking.
Obviously, choosing a career with options always adds additional points. Such as Business and IT Administration, which always show up at the top of the most highly demanded degrees, for example in this ranking.
And because of that, it’s clear to see that you need a different than usual education.
What if we not only prepare for work, but also for life?
At CESTE, thanks to the British system, we use educational innovations such as design thinking, Canvas models, project work, etc. in the classroom. Reduced group size allows you to know much more than just the name of each student, but also their expectations, personal characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and be able to develop the qualities that companies are asking for with them.
That is why there are projects that cover the different dimensions of a company (legal, financial, administration, HR, etc.) in which the students discover—like they would in the real world—the necessary lessons to be able to make decisions and defend them in front of others.
Public speaking is a skill that improves with practice and feedback.
Scholarships of up to 50% make this education more accessible, the contact with businesses facilitates the opportunity for internships as well as full time work, and activities with alumni maintains the link beyond the undergraduate years.
In the case of a Masters, does it really have an impact on improving employability?
As this study says, they create less unemployment (or quicker re-hiring), more promotions, better salary and conditions. 9 out of 10 professionals with a higher education are working, the highest number since 2010.
If we look at the dataset of people with a higher education (undergraduate or Master’s degree), their employment rate is at 91% in Aragón.
Competencies are those that differentiate the performance of a professional in a job, but the higher education degrees are those that grant one access to the selection processes.
Select a centre that you trust that takes into account the most highly sought-after skills.