Academic journal article Researchers World

Tracer Study of Rtu Graduates: An Analysis

Academic journal article Researchers World

Tracer Study of Rtu Graduates: An Analysis

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper aimed to determine if the field of specialization in the different colleges of RTU graduates and their academic-acquired skills and competencies are related to their present occupations. A modified Graduate Tracer Study (GTS) instrument was utilized to gather the quantitative data. Out of 500 questionnaires administered, there were 250 graduates returned answered questionnaires representing the three Colleges: Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurial Technology. A face to face interview was also conducted in order to support the gathered data. The SPSS was used to generate results from the acquired quantitative data using the frequency counts, percentage and the Chi-square goodness of fit test. The findings revealed that the graduates claimed that their knowledge, academic-acquired skills and competencies contributed greatly in their job performance. The Chi-square goodness of fit proved that there is a significant relationship between the graduates' fields of specialization and their occupations after graduation. Likewise, the academic-acquired skills and competencies of the graduates are relevant to their chosen occupations. The results further proved that RTU produces marketable and appropriately trained graduates with the majority landing in course-related jobs within a short period after graduation. The study also indicates that the RTU graduates possess the skills and competencies necessary to succeed in this competitive world. However eexpansion of tie-ups with private business entities is made to at least maintain the high employability level of the graduates.

Keywords: Graduate Tracer Study (GTS), skills, competencies, graduates, employability.

INTRODUCTION:

A nation's economy runs on the knowledge and skills of its people.The requirements for skills evolve with external investment, technological advances and globalization. To keep pace with changes, people need to acquire skills to be productive and earn a living and all of these can be achieved through education. Education is the most important mechanism for the empowerment of people for their socio-economic, political and technological development. The learning environments of higher education institutions must take cognizance of this in structuring their course programmes. For the purpose of quality assurance of course programs, higher education institutions can contribute meaningfully by applying the principles of tracer study to create sustainable learning empowerment environment for the continuous professional development of past students. While many higher education institutions provide training to a variety of clients, most forget them as soon as they graduate and leave the institutions' environment with no means to contact them.

Employability upon graduation and over the long term is, understandably, the major priority for the vast majority of our University students. Over the past two decades or so the University has increasingly offered a wide spectrum of higher education courses that provide students with the necessary tools enabling them to develop their employability skills, to heighten their own awareness of these skills and to improve their ability to articulate them. These skills, once acquired, of course need to be honed throughout one's working life, being put into practice not only in job searching and during interviews but also in personal development planning and in making the most of work experience opportunities. There is no doubt that a student's life long learning capability and therefore his/her employability are enhanced through their university experience. The core mission of our University continues to be the creation of an open space of higher learning within a life-long perspective. This is based on equity of access and should be seen as an opportunity for individual development, allowing all those capable of benefiting from higher education to integrate better into the global knowledge society. …

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