Engaging professional societies in developing work-ready graduates

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Conference Proceeding
31st Annual International HERDSA Conference Website, 2008, pp. 241 - 251
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Since the 1990s universities have faced increasing pressure to better prepare graduates for the workforce. Employers, professional societies and the government are increasingly calling for graduates who are work-ready. In this paper we identify the drivers of the work-ready initiative and present definitions and components of our identified professional work-ready attributes and skills. University graduates are expected to have more than just the discipline-based knowledge and skills that universities traditionally teach. In exploring the tensions, challenges and opportunities that this changing educational environment presents, this paper investigates the key graduate attributes, skills and criteria for successful careers in the professional workplace. Working in consultation with professional societies, our project aims to identify and contextualise work-ready skills to each of the targeted disciplines Information Technology and Business to maximise student relevance. We aim to rejuvenate the current curriculum to improve the development of students work-ready skills by integrating into the curriculum new work-ready subjects and learning activities within existing subjects. Skills identified by professional societies are critical for contemporary university graduates, and are being used to develop effective teaching and learning strategies, tutorials, activities and case-studies.
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