Real-World Work Readiness of College Graduates in Bangladesh: The State of Practical Application of Theoretical Knowledge and Soft Skills in the Workplace
Salazar, Jessica Eva
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In this paper, we will examine the adverse effect that globalization has on the commercialization of higher education in Bangladesh. The commercialization of higher education leads to a gap forming between theoretical and practical knowledge. One will find that a lot of college graduates face difficulties when joining the professional workforce. These difficulties arise due to many factors, but two of the major ones are as follows: 1. Lack of training for students at the university level on how to practically apply theoretical knowledge gained in class, in real world situations. 2. Lack of basic soft skills that are crucial for career development in the professional world. In our paper, we will discuss and analyze the lacking found in both the higher educational institutions and in students, and the adverse effects it has on the careers of graduates. In conclusion we will discuss our continuing research intentions using a scale that we have developed. Due to limited time and manpower, our research was a pilot study and has thus used convenience sampling from a single department of a private university for faculty interviews. The interviews conducted touched on the topics related to in-class and out of class experiences of both the teachers and their pupil. For teachers, we focused on whether they felt the need for better communicative methodologies for instruction provision and what they think are the key factors that handicap students in this education system. For students, our questions were more performance-centric as we tried to find out the key determinants that help good performers excel within both class environments and professional environments. We thereafter did a direct comparative analysis of the data collected from this group with the group that face difficulties in both the fields. The survey we conducted with former students who are currently employed, helped us find their thoughts on the pros and cons of the education curriculum they were once a part of, based on their firsthand experience. We also conduct interviews with industry recruiters and professionals for their feedback on the pros and cons of their recent entry-level recruits.
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