Transferable skills, such as problem solving and analytical writing, play an important role in students ’ appeal to prospective employers. This study explores whether senior students’ development of these transferable skills were related to their perceptions of satisfaction with their higher education institutions. Using data from the NSSE 2012 administration, regression analyses suggest that problem solving skills were a significant positive predictor of institutional satisfaction, even when controlling for other demographic and institutional characteristics. Analytical writing skills were also a significant positive predictor of institutional satisfaction. Background and Purpose A major function of higher education is to help students develop skills that will lead them to success in the workplace (Evers, Rush, Berdorw, 1998; Stasz, 2001). • Some acquired skills are considered discipline-specific • Many “transferable skills, ” such as problem solving and effective communication, are applicable to a broad range of fields (Bradshaw, 1985; Stasz, 1997) There is a need for generic skills across multiple types of jobs, and students possessing them appear more marketable to potential employers. The American Association of Colleges and Universities has recently addressed many of these skills as essential learning outcomes, including: • critical and creative thinking • inquiry and analysis • written and oral communication In the current uncertain economy, students are aware that their employment prospects may be constrained, and they are concerned with getting the best return on their academic investment, in the form of employability. This study addresses whether student development of these transferable skills relates to their perceptions of satisfaction with their higher education institutions
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