Curricular profile of university graduates versus business demands: Is there a fit or mismatch in Spain?

Mercedes Marzo‐Navarro (Department of Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Marta Pedraja‐Iglesias (Department of Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Pilar Rivera‐Torres (Department of Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 13 February 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The curricular profile that businesses demand from their workers is undergoing considerable change, especially in regard to university graduates. Considering the functions that are associated with universities, they should respond to these business demands. As a result, they should educate their students following curricula that fit the needs of the labour market. This fit would allow improving the employability of university graduates. The objectives of this work consist of determining the competencies that firms demand from university graduates and determining the curricula that universities follow to educate their students.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a comparison of these objectives, the paper analyses the mismatches that exist between these competencies and the curricula, and action lines are proposed to correct them.

Findings

The results show the various competencies that universities must improve upon in the education of their students. This improvement would mean a better fit between university curricula and business demands.

Research limitations/implications

The research was applied in one region of Spain, and it would be appropriate to expand it to the entire country.

Practical implications

University managers can use the information obtained from this study as the basis for designing and subsequently implementing action lines that allow improving the curricular profile of university graduates.

Originality/value

There are few papers that analyse the competencies that firms demand from university graduates and that determine the curricula that universities follow to educate their students.

Keywords

Citation

Marzo‐Navarro, M., Pedraja‐Iglesias, M. and Rivera‐Torres, P. (2009), "Curricular profile of university graduates versus business demands: Is there a fit or mismatch in Spain?", Education + Training, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 56-69. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910910931832

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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