Employability Competencies: Evidence for Employer Satisfaction and Employer Expectations of Open University Malaysia’s (Oum) Graduates

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Employability Competencies: Evidence for Employer Satisfaction and Employer Expectations of Open University Malaysia’s (OUM) Graduates

Abstract
It cannot be denied that human capital development is a vital element in any country’s economic development. In this respect, higher education, which equips future employees with the necessary knowledge and skills, is often deemed an important tool for economic growth. As emphasized by the Minister of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia, “Today’s challenging economic situation means that it is no longer sufficient for a new graduate to have knowledge of an academic subject; increasingly it is necessary for students to gain those skills which will enhance their prospects of employment. Hence, Higher Education Institutions must be responsive to these changes”. (Nordin, 2009, p. 2). Meanwhile according to Quek (2008), the extent to which graduates possess relevant competencies (i.e. knowledge, skills and attributes) which meet new job demands in a changing work environment affects one’s employability. This study aimed to: (1) Find out the level of importance attributed by employers to the various employability competencies; (2) Find out the extent to which the employers are satisfied with OUM graduates competencies; (3) Examine the extent to which the level of employer satisfaction differs from the level of importance attributed to the competencies; and (4) Examine the strengths and opportunities for improvement of OUM graduates with regard to employability competencies. Role of Open Distance Learning in Advancing Lifelong Learning: •“Lifelong learning is also about providing second chances to update basic skills and to offer learning opportunities at more advanced levels. •All this means that formal systems of provision need to become much more open and flexible, so that such opportunities can truly be tailored to the needs of the learner, or indeed the potential learner” (ESAE, 2007, p. 23) Methodology

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