A Framework to Enhance Graduate Employability

Louise Underdahl, Patricia Akojie, Myrene Agustin Magabo, Rheanna Rae Reed, Shawishi Haynes, Maureen Marzano, Mar Navarro, Margo S Patterson
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 055-075

Alignment of academic curricula and employer needs is widely discussed yet implementation lags. Research on EdD curricula has universality for other academic programs and may catalyze pedagogical innovation to promote employability in other disciplines.

This study contributes evidence-based data to strengthen career relevance of academic programs, align curriculum content with industry requirements, prepare students for the workforce, and improve job placement rates, defined as degree-related employment.

In this mixed method study, current Doctor of Education (EdD) students and employers of Doctor of Education (EdD) graduates commented on the alignment of the EdD curriculum with industry-specific needs.

Results may promote corporate and academic partnership to optimize alignment of curricula and industry needs.

Partnerships between educators and employers in developing curricula can bridge the industry specific skills gap and enhance students’ understanding of the professional workplace and capacity to communicate, be empathetic, and solve problems.

Educators can strengthen capacity for the adaptability and continuous learning associated with mastering new skills as technology evolves. Employers can provide skilling, reskilling, and upskilling opportunities, offer job shadowing and internships, and participate in collaborative research.

Researchers can develop pedagogy targeting interpersonal, communication, participative, and organizational competencies.

Improving graduate employability creates positive outcomes for graduates, educators, employers, and the global economy.

Perceived employability is a powerful motivator. Research is needed to reframe curricula to synthesize discipline-specific skills with generic skills, such as teamwork, communication, and critical thinking, that enhance students’ self-confidence and self-perceptions of employability

graduate employability, career competence, curriculum, employer
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