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Building up Undergraduate Skills – empirical evidence from a Portuguese University

Listed author(s):
  • 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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Paper provided by Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa in its series Working Papers de Gestão (Management Working Papers) with number 02.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:cap:mpaper:022010
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