Using Knowledge Tools to Prepare Business Graduates for Career Success
Conference Theme "Preparing Students for Career Success" (Paper accepted on theme for presentation at the ACBSP 2016 Region 8 Conference in Dubai UAE and publication in the Conference Proceedings Sept 27, 2016).
Career success involves (a) success in finding employment, (b) success in carrying out job duties and job tasks in the workplace, and (c) success in receiving promotions and in achieving career goals. Therefore, process steps in preparing students for career success include: (a) Employability enhancement activities such as integrating workplace skills, competencies, and employability into undergraduate business course curricula; (b) Narrowing the gap between theory and practice by providing learning opportunities in which practical application of theory, job-task know-how, skills, and competencies are obtained; and (c) Stimulating the innovative thinking ability of students so that they can become competent creative and critical thinkers that can solve job-task problems and invent more efficient ways of carrying out job tasks in the workplace. To enhance graduate employability and bridge the theory-practice skills gap business students need to: (a) know and understand how to use academic knowledge tools obtained during their study, (b) be competent creative and critical thinkers, and (c) have the ability to solve job-task problems faced in the workplace. As a guideline on providing graduates opportunities and support for innovative thinking and critical problem solving, a proposed implementation strategy model is presented. To stimulate thinking and problem-solving competencies of entry-level business graduates use of applied business research findings, job descriptions, competency frameworks, and thought processes, involving both individual specialist and across discipline thinking, is suggested. Also included in article discussions is a model explaining how the thought process across academic disciplines is applied within the workplace to solve job-task problems.