Hearing the Voice of the Sector and Graduates and Transferring into the Curriculum

1Yasar University, TURKEY
2Dokuz Eylul University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.90.8


Purpose:  The economic and social developments of countries are strictly dependent on the qualified graduates/workforce that they have. The aim of this study was to determine the quality and skill aspects of graduates and their satisfaction level of labour supply and demand in higher education.

Research Methods: In this study, the data related to the Foreign Trade Program were collected by the focus group (composed of program graduates and employers) interview technique as one of the qualitative research methods. The data obtained from the interviews were subjected to content analysis and findings were obtained on the areas of quality and skill mismatch between supply and demand through coding and identification of themes.

Findings: The findings showed that employers have expectations in the field of supply chain knowledge, Excel knowledge, mastery of management information systems, ERP knowledge, warehouse management, port operations, logistics knowledge, and basic export operations. However, employers stated that these qualifications were insufficient in graduates and many had to be taught by them on the job. Graduates, on the other hand, have stated that when they think about the difficulties they have experienced in the business world, they realize their shortcomings only when they start working.

Implications for Research and Practice: According to the findings, it is considered appropriate to carry out such research with a participant profile in other fields of higher education, including representatives of the relevant business world, academic representatives and representatives of the central authority. The connection between the labour market and the education system can be established in a healthy way by carrying out the work in different higher education programs.

Keywords: Employment, education, skills, foreign trade, curriculum, competencies.