Employer requirements of economics graduates and the implications for undergraduate economics programs

Hellier, Phil and Keneley, Monica 2006, Employer requirements of economics graduates and the implications for undergraduate economics programs, in Economic Education Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide, S. Aust., pp. 1-27.

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Title Employer requirements of economics graduates and the implications for undergraduate economics programs
Author(s) Hellier, Phil
Keneley, Monica
Conference name Economic Education Conference (2006 : Adelaide, South Australia)
Conference location Adelaide, South Australia
Conference dates 13-16 July 2006
Title of proceedings Economic Education Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2006
Conference series Economic Education Conference
Start page 1
End page 27
Publisher University of South Australia
Place of publication Adelaide, S. Aust.
Summary In recent years there has been considerable debate about the general decline in the number of students undertaking bachelor degrees and majors in economics. The discussion has stemmed mainly from a supply-side perspective of the economics education market. The goal of this paper is to add another dimension to the debate and report the results of a survey of employers of economics graduates. Drawing on the extensive customer services literature it is argued that a market oriented, or demand-side analysis is also an important component in redressing low student enrolments and retention. A first step in adopting a market oriented approach is to determine the skills required of the economics graduates entering the jobs market. With the support of The Economics Society of Au~tralia, twenty-nine public and private sector employers were surveyed in 2002. The aim of the survey was to establish the demand for economics graduates with bachelor and honours degrees, the skills and knowledge required of these graduates, and the performance of such graduates. The study found that economic knowledge and skill were important to employers. However, the skills rated most important by employers were the more general or 'generic' skills of clear writing, data analysis, interpersonal skills and a practical problem-solving orientation. While graduates generally performed satisfactorily in relation to the economic skills required by employers, this was not the case for generic skills. The result of the survey findings have some significant implications for the content and teaching of undergraduate economics programs. This paper outlines these implications and also discusses areas for future research It is argued that such research should aim to utilize both the demand and supplyside perspectives with the development of more precise definitions and measurement of the economic skills required by the various stakeholders in the economics education market.
Language eng
Field of Research 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
HERDC collection year 2004
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30005366

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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