American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(9), 1077-1084
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-9-3
Open AccessArticle

Core Competencies Development among Science and Technology (S&T) College Students and New Graduates

Christophe A. O. Assamoi1, 2,

1Korea University, Anam-Dong, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2College of Science, Korea University, Anam-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Pub. Date: August 23, 2015

Cite this paper:
Christophe A. O. Assamoi. Core Competencies Development among Science and Technology (S&T) College Students and New Graduates. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(9):1077-1084. doi: 10.12691/education-3-9-3


Employers and societies increasingly ask for competent and ready to work graduates, endowed with a certain amount of capabilities and competencies when entering the workforce. Whereas the need for highly skilled worker has been climbing, the discrepancy between competencies of graduates and qualifications searched by employers continue to be a serious concern among various nations [1,24]. The main issue addressed by the present study is: “Is science and technology (S&T) students and new graduates’ development of core competencies influenced by their prior perception of importance of these competencies? And does the development of these core competencies guarantee their fitness for purpose in terms of entering into the workforce?” Findings revealed that S&T students and new graduates’ experience at the institution have developed all the seven core competencies under investigation in the present research and that the development of core competencies is not always influenced by prior perception of importance. With respect to the fitness for purpose, findings show that S&T students and new graduates perceived their preparedness for the workplace close to “more than adequate preparation for being an expert in my field of S&T”. This finding confirms the view of “fitness for purpose” explanation as a requirement of the higher education.

Korea students competencies core competencies science technology employers

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Baek, S. J., Kim, S. B. & Chun, J. S. (2006). Policy measures for higher education development from the human resources development perspective. Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training.
[2]  Barrie, S.C. (2006). Understanding what we mean by the generic attributes of graduates. Higher Education, 51 (2), 215-241.
[3]  Bath, D., Smith, C., Stein, S., & Swann, R. (2004). Beyond mapping and embedding graduates attributes: bringing together quality assurance and action learning to create a validated and living curriculum. Higher education research & development, 23(3).
[4]  Birdgstock, R. (2009). The graduate attributes we’ ve overlooked: enhancing graduate employability through career management skills. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(1), 31-44.
[5]  Boyatzis, R.E. (1982). The Competent Manager: A Model for Effective Performance. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
[6]  Coll, R. K. & Zegwaard, K. E. (2006). Perception of desirable graduate competencies for science and technology new graduates. Research in Science & Technological Education, 24(1), 29-58.
[7]  Coll, R., Zegwaard, K. & Hodges, D. (2002). Science and Technology Stakeholders’ Ranking of Graduate Competencies Part1: Employer Perspective. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 3(2), 19-28.
[8]  Coll, R., Zegwaard, K. & Hodges, D. (2002). Science and Technology Stakeholders’ Ranking of Graduate Competencies Part2: Students Perspective. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 3(2), 35-44.
[9]  Harvey, L., Moon, S. & Geall, V. (1997). Graduates Work: Organisational Change and Students' Attributes. Birmingham: Centre for Research into Quality (CRQ) and Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
[10]  Hernadez-March, J., Del Peso, M. M. & Leguey, S. (2009). Graduates’ Skills and Higher Education: The employers’ perspective. Tertiary Education and Management, 15(1), 1-16.
[11]  Hodges, D. & Burchel, N. (2003). Business Graduate Competencies: Employers’ Views on Importance and Performance. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 4(2), 16-22.
[12]  Jackson, D. (2013). Business graduate employability - where are we going wrong?, Higher Education Research & Development, 32(5), 776-790.
[13]  Jin, M., Lee, S., & Song, C. (2007). Identification of college students' core competencies and survey development. Korean Ministry of Education.
[14]  Kim, A. N., Kim, N. H., Kim, T. J., Lee, S. J., & Jung, H. O. (2003). The research on the national standards of life skill and quality management for learning system. Korean Educational Development Institute.
[15]  Lee, Y. (2009). Competencies Needed by Korea HRD Master’s Graduates: A Comparison Between the ASTD WLP Competency Model and the Korean Study. Wiley InterScience.
[16]  Lindsay, A. (1996). `Quality assurance at MacQuarie University’, in AYLETT, R. & GREGORY, K. (Eds.) Evaluating Teacher. Quality in Higher Education: London, Falmer Press.
[17]  Lim, U., Choi, D. & Park, M. (2008). Core competencies for future jobs. Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training.
[18]  Martensen, A. & Gronholdt, L. (2009). Quality in higher education: linking graduates’ competencies and employers’ needs. Quality in higher education, 1(1), 67-77.
[19]  Mason, G., Williams, G. & Crammer, S. (2009). Employability skills initiatives in Higher education: what effects do they have on graduate labour market outcomes?, Education Economics, 17(1), 1-30.
[20]  Mayer, E. (Chair of Committee). (1992). The Key Competencies: Report to the Australian Education Council and the Ministers for Vocational Education, Employment and Training (Melbourne, Australian Education Council).
[21]  McClelland, D.C. (1973). Testing for competence rather than for “intelligence.” American Psychologist, 28, 1-14.
[22]  Na, S., Jang, S., Seo, W., Kim, J., Lee, S., Kim, K., & Jung, S. (2003). Key competencies required for the Korean workforce. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Human Resource Development, 36 (4), 139-158.
[23]  Nair, C. S., Patil, A. & Mertova, P. (2009). Re-engineering graduate skills- a case study. Europeran Journal of Engineering Education, 34 (2), 131-139.
[24]  Navarro, P. (2008). Business schools: A study in failure. Business Week Online. Retrieved December 5, 2014 from,
[25]  Nguyen, N. D., Yoshinari, Y. & Shigeji, M. (2006). University education and employment in Japon : Students’ perceptions on employment attributes and implications for university education. Quality Assurance in Education, 13(3), 202-218.
[26]  OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Education Committee. (2005). The definition and selection of key Competencies: Executive summary, Retrieved December 5, 2014, from
[27]  Oh, H., Lee, Y. (2010). A Study on the Perceptual Differences about Core Competencies between Higher Education and Business Sectors. Asian journal of education, 11(4), 95-118.
[28]  Park, S., & Song, Y. (2008). Different perceptions on college-graduated employee’s competency: HRD practitioners vs. college students. Journal of Corporate Education, 10 (1), 27-45.
[29]  Parry, S. B. (1996). The quest for competencies. Training, 33(7), 48-56.
[30]  Pfundt, H., & Duit, R. (1997). Bibliography: Students’ alternative frameworks and science education (4th ed.). Kiel, Germany: University of Kiel.
[31]  Peng, L., Zhang, S. & Gu, J. (2014). Evaluating the competency mismatch between Master of Engineering graduates and industry needs in China. Studies in Higher Education.
[32]  Rainsbury, E., Burchell, N. & Lay, M. (2002). Ranking workplace competencies: student and graduate perceptions. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 3(2), 8-18.
[33]  Rychen. D. S., & Salganik, L. H. (2003). A holistic model of competence. In D.S. Rychen and L. H. Salganik (eds.), Defining and selecting key competencies. Seattle: Hogrefe & Huber, 41-62.
[34]  Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in Administration. New York: Harper & Row.
[35]  So, K. H. (2006). 'Competency' in the context of schooling: It's meaning and curricular implications. The Journal of Curriculum Studies, 24 (3), 39-59.
[36]  Spencer, L. M. & Spencer, S. M. (1993). Competence at work (New York, John Wiley and Sons Inc.).
[37]  Tam, M. (2001). Measuring Quality and Performance in Higher Education. Quality in Higher Education, 7(1), 47-54.
[38]  Ulrich, D., Jick, T., & Von Glinow, M. (1993). High impact learning: building and diffusing learning capability. Organizational Dynamics, Autumn, 52-60.
[39]  Warn, J. & Tranter, P. (2001). Measuring Quality in Higher Education: A competency approach, Quality in Higher Education, 7(3), 191-1.
[40]  Yang, S., Kim, H., & Joo, K. (2006). A study of companies’ perception on university education and their needs. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 9, 145-170.
[41]  Yoo, T., Kim, Y., Park, H., Shim, Y., Kim, J., Kim, S., Kim, S., & Ahn, Y. (2008). The content analysis of desirable talent in Korean companies. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Korean Psychological Association, 264-65.