Authors: Aksarapak Lucktong and Arti Pandey

Research Article

Year: 2020, Volume 20 Number 1

Pages: 66–77 

Abstract

Graduates in science and technology are in demand by establishments in developing countries; however, job-seekers are concerned about the prospect of insecure employment in the changing future careers because of imminent oversupply in the labor market. Self-assured graduates would be able to confront with the dynamic world. The focus of this study is to investigate relationships between the perceived-development of soft skills provided by educational programs in university and the likelihood to obtain a job after graduation. Data were derived from the Annual Graduate Survey conducted by the Office of General Education, King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thailand, at the time of the graduation ceremony (six months after university course completion). Two cohorts of graduates (covering engineering, information technology, industrial education, science, and architecture) in the academic year 2016 and 2017 were included to be participants (n = 3,850). They were asked to reflect their perception of the extent to which they possessed soft skills during the period of degree programs. Results obtained by logistic regression analysis displayed significant personal attributes, communication, and learning skills that contribute to the likelihood to be employed after graduation. The perception of self-development supports individual self-efficacy to meet the challenges of job hunting. This study also indicates a small gender difference in the employment of science-tech graduates, that is, a female is more likely to obtain a job immediately after the completion of her studies. Interestingly, it is found that there is a non-significant relation between English skills and the likelihood to get a job in a non-English speaking country. 

Keywords: science-tech graduates, soft skills, labor market