Objectives: The first objective of this study was to identify the knowledge, skills and attributes (KSAs) that employers seek in newly graduated dietitians. The second objective was to compare the KSAs that employers seek in newly graduated dietitians to the Deakin University Graduate Attributes and to the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA) Competencies in order to determine if there is a mismatch.
Methods: Views were gathered from a combination of group and individual in-depth, semistructured interviews with 19 employers from a range of employment settings and sorted into an existing framework using the DAA Competencies and the Deakin University Graduate Attributes. Data from taped interviews were transcribed and sorted into a table of generic skills and a KSAs matrix. Results: Employers sought graduates who had practical knowledge of dietetics and the workplace, Key skills sought included communication, interpersonal, work management and information technology skills. Key attributes sought were the ability to be a team player, to demonstrate some insight into one's own limitations, to demonstrate an appropriate level of initiative, and to be flexible and adaptable. There was a large overlap between the KSAs identified by employers as being important and those that have been identified by the DAA and Deakin University. However, there were some areas of mismatch. The University and employers valued information technological skills, whereas the DAA did not state these as a competency. The University and the industry employers were concerned about the global perspective, but the DAA and the clinical employers were not.
Conclusions: The results of this study show a large overlap between the KSAs valued by the profession, the University and the employers.
Field of Research
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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