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Building up Undergraduate Skills – empirical evidence from a Portuguese University


  • Eva Oliveira

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

  • Miguel Sottomayor

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

  • A. Meireles

    (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

  • A. Martins

    (Students and Careers Service, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

  • M. Rocha

    (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)


This study presents preliminary results of the PSP Project, addressing students' soft skills development within the context of HEI. Theoretical framework is grounded in Person-Environment Fit theories (Rounds & Hesketh, 1994), and also in Evans (2001) starfish model. Study 1 aimed to identify Economics and Business graduates' Market-Valued Skills Profile, collecting data through semi-structured interviews with HR managers and former students focus groups. Study 2 assessed students' confidence level regarding skills using a self-report questionnaire (Miles & Grummon, 2006). Career development representations were also assessed (Savickas, 2002; Gonçalves, 2006). Additional data was collected through open-ended questions focusing on work and other extracurricular experiences. Results from Study 1 highlight soft skills as multidimensional construct where different interrelated skills contribute to graduates' employability. Study 2 reveals students' positive self-perception regarding those skills, although limited vocational experiences were reported.

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  • Eva Oliveira & Miguel Sottomayor & A. Meireles & A. Martins & M. Rocha, 2010. "Building up Undergraduate Skills – empirical evidence from a Portuguese University," Working Papers de Gestão (Management Working Papers) 02, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
  • Handle: RePEc:cap:mpaper:022010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bitran, Gabriel & Pedrosa, Luis, 1998. "A structured product development perspective for service operations," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 169-189, April.
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    Soft Skills; Career development; higher education students; employability;

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