Integrating Academic Skills and Employability – Revisiting the Learning Journal
Volume IV 2020, No 2, Pages: 5-17
Mario Menz, Course Leader, LLM Financial Services Law, Regulation and Compliance |
Abstract: Across the world, universities are more numerous today than at any other time in history, yet at the same time there is unparalleled confusion about their purpose and skepticism about their value. Based on an extensive literature review, a survey of the academic landscape and discussions with academics as well as employers, this reflective piece highlights the importance of academic skills development with regard to students’ success at university, and illustrates the link between academic skills, employability and professional success. The article was prompted by the current discussion around universities’ struggle to provide students with the necessary skills to succeed after graduation. The article argues that the differentiation between academic skills on the one hand and employability skills on the other is no longer relevant or appropriate in the 21st century knowledge economy, and invites universities to enhance their curricula with additional, mandatory skills development modules. It provides an innovative suggestion on how to link academic skills and employability in curriculum development, based on the existing academic literature around the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as research into employability skills. The importance of academic skills on students’ professional success can never be overstated. The article offers an innovative approach to linking academic skills, employability and professional success. It adds fuel to the discussion around employability from the perspective of industry practitioners. While this paper has been written specifically with undergraduate business degrees in mind, the principles and practices it outlines can also be applied to other academic disciplines.
Keywords: academic skills, employability, student development, curriculum development, learning journals