Skills Acquisition and Employability Among Arts and Social Sciences Interns in a Malaysian Public University

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Mythili Monogaran
Thirunaukarasu Subramaniam


Many Malaysian employers feel that university curricula inadequately prepare graduates for the realities of the job market. The present study attempts to rank skills acquisition among interns at a Malaysian public university and identify the gaps through skills gap and radar analyses. Respondents comprised students from an Arts and Social Sciences faculty in a Malaysian public university who had undergone internship as well as the employers who conducted trainings for them. Using a simple random sampling method, 164 students and 43 employers provided responses. The largest gap between employers’ expectations and interns’ performance is seen for ‘values, attitudes and professionalism’. Employers tend to emphasise ‘values, attitudes and professionalism’ as an essential skill for employability. Positive qualities, such as having good work habits and attitudes, are valuable assets that need to be inculcated. Another skill that requires improvement is ‘communication, leadership and team skills’, as poor communication skills can become a serious obstacle for employability. This study provides insights from a dual perspective analysis through the identification of gaps between actual and expected intern performance. This information will be a valuable guideline in redesigning university modules to meet the demands of potential employers.


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