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Basic employability skills: a triangular design approach

Stuart Rosenberg (Department of Management and Marketing, Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA)
Ronald Heimler (College of Agriculture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA)
Elsa‐Sofia Morote (Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Technology, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York, USA)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 10 February 2012




This paper seeks to examine the basic employability skills needed for job performance, the reception of these skills in college, and the need for additional training in these skills after graduation.


The research was based on a triangular design approach, in which the attitudes of three distinct groups – recent graduates, the faculty who taught them, and human resource managers who recruit them – were studied. The participants responded to a survey that included 47 items measuring eight dimensions of basic employability skills.


The study revealed considerable differences in opinion among the three groups with regard to the skills needed for job performance, the skills received by college graduates, and the additional training needed.

Research limitations/implications

The research study was limited to graduates, faculty, and recruiters at a business school in southern California. It is suggested that further studies be conducted to determine whether differences in attitudes from those found in this study might exist.

Practical implications

Although the respondents identified the importance of leadership skills, these skills were noted to be below expectations for industry. Moreover, the need for additional training of recent graduates appears to be a major concern according to the results.

Social implications

In a highly competitive economy, there is little chance that unprepared graduates will be successful in obtaining employment and then performing their jobs.


The triangular approach taken in this study validates the importance of the interconnectedness among graduates, faculty, and industry. It is therefore imperative to strengthen the communication across these groups to ensure adequate preparation of graduates.



Rosenberg, S., Heimler, R. and Morote, E. (2012), "Basic employability skills: a triangular design approach", Education + Training, Vol. 54 No. 1, pp. 7-20.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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