How Teachers Can Help Students Develop Employability Skills

How Teachers Can Help Students Develop Employability Skills

  • Arya Vishwaroop
    Arya Vishwaroop

Introduction

There is a huge crisis that is going on all over the world right now, and it is not an exaggeration. This could even be the leading reason behind the massive unemployment problem we face today - the employability of graduates. Even if students graduate with fairly decent grades, their employability is still pretty low. A study by the National Employability Report – Engineers 2016 (NERE) by Aspiring Minds, which is an employment assessment organization, found that almost 80% of the graduating engineers are unemployable, meaning that only 20% of the total 5 million and more graduates were truly employable after their studies. In fact, the field producing the highest number of employable graduates, engineers, haven’t been able to break even and stands at a mere 46.2% (as per 2022 calculations). This is actually an increase from the 45.9% from the previous year. It is good to see that there is progress, but when the average is still below 50%, this problem is still a point of concern. The solution to this is imparting employability skills from a young age.

What are Employability Skills?

Employability skills refer to a slew of practical skills that are required at a workplace. These may include the core skills the candidate would need to be employable at the company as well as secondary skills that are required to make themselves useful in the workplace outside of their professional capacity. A few of these skills are discussed below:

Communication Skills

Employers often look for candidates who have above-par communication skills, mainly because they want seamless complication-free communication among different levels of management. This can be achieved only when the majority of the candidates have at least an average level of communication skills. However, communication skills are not just restricted to oral communication, it also includes written communication skills, listening skills, and interpersonal skills.

Teamwork

Teamwork is, without a doubt, one of the most important skills one must possess in a corporate environment. Today, projects, especially ones that involve a multi-faceted approach to them, require a lot of hands from different departments, so if the employee is not a team player, they would not be an asset to the team. Skills required here include collaboration, conflict management, reliability, professionalism, and managing expectations.

Critical Thinking

This is a skill without which no one can survive in the corporate world for long. It basically refers to the set of skills one needs to comprehend, analyze, and interpret the information provided to them and come up with a fast, cost-effective, and easy-to-implement solution to the problem as fast as possible. The faster and more reliable a person is at coming up with a solution, the better will be their critical thinking ability. These skills include problem-solving skills, creativity, analytical skills, deductive reasoning, and inductive reasoning.

Ethics

Ethics refers to a person’s moral code of conduct. It refers to an employee’s capability to adhere to a certain set of moral principles that they will follow irrespective of the situation they are in. Readiness of compliance, integrity, discernment, and empathy all come under ethics.

Computer Skills

Even though most people today have this, having adaptable computer skills is a definite plus when it comes to employability. The more computer applications you are familiar with, the better will be your chance of landing the job you desire.

Tips on How Teachers Can Help Students Develop These Skills

Hence, as it is clear from the things mentioned above, employability skills are vital in today’s ever-evolving world of technology and innovation. Students, at an impressionable age, can be molded to become efficient and employable, but it depends on the teacher’s skills as well. So here are a few tips that can help teachers cultivate and improve employability skills in students.

Conduct Debates in the Classroom

Conducting debates in the classroom can help foster and improve several communication skills in one go, which include critical thinking, communication skills, teamwork as well as integrity. Good-natured well organized civil debates bring about a lot of nuanced character development in a person which is essential in their life to improve their character in the future.

Active Learning

Active learning can help students develop leadership skills. Leadership is not a quality that a person is born with. It needs to be cultivated slowly over the years, learning from failures and improving on them through repeated attempts. Of course, some people are naturally more inclined towards leadership roles than others, but with enough practice, anyone can be an efficient leader. Teachers can help students take up leadership roles by making them the captain of a group project or the leader of a group activity, which will not only help them improve their leadership skills but also help them improve their self-esteem. Click on the link to read more about how beneficial active learning can be.

Conducting Fun Activities

Any type of activity that promotes the participation of students can essentially help in developing employability skills because it creates a sort of toned-down version of a corporate environment. A few students will automatically assume leadership roles while some others will be more submissive and good at interpreting and executing instructions effectively. So, the more teachers organize and promote such activities, the better their employability will be in the future.

Promoting Professional Behavior in the Classroom

As they say, old habits die hard. The younger they start behaving professionally in the classroom, the better. This does not mean that they should not be allowed their fair share of mischief in class. Small things like showing up to class on time and being respectful of each other are behaviors that can be applauded or even rewarded so that they continue to do so in the future as well. A small step in the right direction can go a long way.

Conclusion

As you can see, teachers have the power to make or break a child and doing things the right way definitely makes sure that the students are guided in the right way at the right time. When more and more students become employable, the very economic prosperity of the country will improve immensely.