EXPLORATION OF MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS REQUIRED OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS FOR EMPLOYABILITY
Background of The Study
The modern business landscape is increasingly becoming technology-driven, necessitating the need for business education students to acquire relevant technological skills to enhance their employability. According to a study by Dacko (2017), the rapid evolution of technology has led to a shift in the skills required by employers, with a growing emphasis on digital literacy, data analysis, and social media management. This shift has necessitated a reevaluation of the curriculum in business education to incorporate these skills.
The importance of digital literacy in the modern business environment cannot be overstated. A study by Gilster (1997) defines digital literacy as the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. This skill is crucial for business education students as it enhances their ability to navigate the digital world, which is a fundamental requirement in the modern business environment.
In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, the demand for highly skilled and adaptable employees is on the rise. Business education graduates play a crucial role in the effective operation of modern offices. These graduates need to possess a diverse set of modern technological skills to meet the evolving needs of the workplace. These skills include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and technological proficiency. By acquiring and honing these skills, business education graduates can contribute to the smooth functioning of a modern office.
Business Education is one the vocational course offered in the Nigerian education system. According to Umeano quoted in Osuala (2021),Business Education is a programme of instruction which consists of two parts, namely: Office Education: A vocational education programme for office career through initial, refresher and upgrading education leading to employability and advancement in office occupations, General Business Education: A programme to provide students with information and competencies which are needed by all in managing personal business affairs and in using the services of the business world”. According to Osuala in Umeano, Business Education, at each of the Nigeria educational levels, should be able to train the necessary manpower at the lower, middle and higher executive levels for employment in industry, businesses, private and public sectors.
Business Education is an educational programme that equips recipients with functional and suitable skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values that would enable them operate in the environment they find themselves. Business Education encompasses the work environments that are wide and varied including: teaching, accounting, secretarial duties, administration, management, leadership, entrepreneurship and responsible citizenship (Njoku, 2016). Business Education is a composite of skills which aims at training people to have the competencies for self-employment or self-reliance in Marketing, Management,
Accounting, Office and Secretarial skills (Usoro, 2010). To Usoro, Business Education is career-oriented and aimed at preparing people to have the necessary occupational skills for gainful employment in different sectors of the economy. Office is described as the nerve center of any organization. Sumathy, Malini and Salai (2019) stated that the present day office activities have expanded to a wider extent to keep pace with rapid globalization. According to the authors, an office by itself has become an indispensable part of any business organization. It is a place for transacting business where clerical and administrative functions are carried out to coordinate and control the activities of the organization.
Problem-solving skills are another key requirement for business education graduates in a modern office setting. Graduates need to be able to analyze complex problems, think critically, and propose innovative solutions. These skills enable them to navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Employers value graduates who can identify and address issues proactively, as it enhances the efficiency and productivity of the office.
Teamwork is a vital skill for business education graduates, as modern offices often rely on collaborative efforts to achieve organizational goals. Graduates should be able to work effectively in diverse teams, respect different perspectives, and contribute their expertise. By fostering a sense of unity and cooperation, graduates can enhance the overall performance of the office and promote a positive work culture.
Muhammad (2009) opined that gender of employers could influence their capacity to acquire entrepreneurial skills. In this regard gender, just like experience, gender influence views on the skills required of business education graduates for effective job performance. These views, however are theoretical in nature and has not been empirically proven to influence skills required of business education graduates for effective job performance. It is against this background that the researcher seeks to empirically determine the skills required of business education graduates for effective job performance.
Data analysis is another critical skill for business education students. According to a study by Manyika et al. (2011), the ability to analyze large amounts of data and extract actionable insights is a highly sought-after skill in the modern business world. This skill enables business professionals to make informed decisions, predict trends, and improve business performance. Therefore, incorporating data analysis in business education curriculum is essential in preparing students for the job market.
Social media management is also a vital skill for business education students. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) argue that social media has become an essential tool for businesses to engage with customers, promote their products, and monitor their competitors. Therefore, business education students need to understand how to effectively use social media platforms to achieve business objectives.
However, the integration of these skills into the business education curriculum is not without challenges. A study by Watty, McKay, and Ngo (2016) highlights the difficulty in teaching these skills due to the rapid pace of technological change. The study suggests that continuous curriculum review and the use of innovative teaching methods can help overcome these challenges.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The rapid advancement of technology has significantly transformed the business landscape, creating a demand for a new set of skills among business education students. However, there seems to be a gap between the technological skills that business education students possess and what the current job market requires. This discrepancy poses a significant problem as it affects the employability of these students, making it difficult for them to secure jobs in the competitive business environment.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that many business education programs have not fully integrated modern technological skills into their curriculum. This lack of integration leaves students ill-prepared to meet the demands of the modern business world. The absence of these skills in the curriculum not only affects the students’ employability but also hampers the growth and competitiveness of businesses that rely on these skills.
Moreover, there is a lack of understanding of what specific technological skills are required for business education students to be employable in the modern business world. This lack of clarity makes it difficult for educational institutions to update their curriculum to meet the needs of the job market. It also makes it challenging for students to know what skills they need to focus on to increase their employability.
One of the main problems faced by business education graduates in terms of modern technological skills is the lack of practical experience. While they may have theoretical knowledge and academic qualifications, many graduates struggle to apply their skills in real-world office settings. This can be attributed to the limited opportunities for hands-on training during their education, which often focuses more on theoretical concepts rather than practical application.
Another problem is the rapid advancement of technology in modern offices. With the increasing reliance on digital tools and automation, business education graduates need to possess up-to-date technical skills to effectively operate in a modern office environment. However, many graduates lack proficiency in essential software programs, data analysis tools, and other technological advancements, making them less competitive in the job market.
Communication skills also pose a significant challenge for business education graduates. Effective communication is crucial in a modern office, as it facilitates collaboration, teamwork, and client interactions. However, many graduates struggle with verbal and written communication, including presenting ideas, writing reports, and conducting meetings. This lack of communication skills can hinder their ability to effectively contribute to the operations of a modern office.
Adaptability and flexibility are essential qualities for business education graduates in the modern office setting. However, many graduates face difficulties in adapting to changing work environments and embracing new methodologies. The fast-paced nature of modern offices requires employees to quickly learn and adapt to new technologies, work processes, and organizational structures. Graduates who lack adaptability skills may find it challenging to keep up with the evolving demands of the workplace.
Again, a lack of networking and professional connections can be a significant problem for business education graduates seeking employment in a modern office. Building a strong professional network is essential for career advancement and job opportunities. However, many graduates may not have had sufficient opportunities to network during their education, limiting their access to job openings and industry connections. This can make it challenging for them to secure employment and thrive in a modern office environment.
The problem lies in the gap between the technological skills that business education students possess and what the job market requires, the lack of integration of these skills into the curriculum, and the lack of understanding of what specific skills are needed. Addressing these issues is crucial to improving the employability of business education students in the modern business world.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine Exploration of modern technological skills required of business education students for employability. The specific objectives of the study are:
- To identify the specific modern technological skills that are essential for business education graduates in a modern office environment.
- To assess the current level of proficiency of business education graduates in the identified modern technological skills.
- To explore the challenges faced by business education graduates in acquiring the required modern technological skills.
- To examine the impact of possessing the required modern technological skills on the job performance and career progression of business education graduates.
1.4. Research Questions
The research questions are buttressed below:
- How can the specific modern technological skills that are essential for business education graduates in a modern office environment be identified?
- What is the current level of proficiency of business education graduates in the identified modern technological skills?
- What are the challenges faced by business education graduates in acquiring the required modern technological skills?
- To what extent will the required modern technological skills affect the job performance and career progression of business education graduates?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The hypotheses for this study are stated below:
HO: Modern technological skills will not affect the job performance and career progression of business education graduates.
H1: Modern technological skills will affect the job performance and career progression of business education graduates.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study holds significant importance as it aims to address the growing need for business education graduates to possess modern technological skills that are essential for the effective operation of a modern office. With the rapid advancements in technology and the changing dynamics of the business world, it is crucial for graduates to possess the necessary skills to adapt and thrive in a professional setting.
By examining the modern technological skills required by business education graduates, this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge in the field of business education. It provides valuable insights into the specific skills that are in high demand in the modern office environment, allowing educators and institutions to tailor their curriculum and training programs accordingly.
The findings of this study can also benefit employers and organizations by providing them with a better understanding of the skills they should look for when hiring business education graduates. This knowledge can help them make informed decisions during the recruitment process, ensuring that they select candidates who possess the necessary skills to contribute effectively to the operation of a modern office.
Furthermore, this study can have practical implications for business education graduates themselves. By identifying the specific modern technological skills required in a modern office, graduates can focus their efforts on developing and enhancing these skills, increasing their chances of securing employment and succeeding in their professional careers.
The significance of this study also lies in its potential to bridge the gap between academia and industry. By aligning the curriculum and training programs with the actual needs of the business world, educational institutions can better prepare their graduates for the challenges they will face in the workplace. This can lead to improved employability rates and higher job satisfaction among business education graduates.
This study holds mic significance as it contributes to the ongoing dialogue on the role of business education in preparing graduates for the demands of the modern office. It highlights the importance of not only theoretical knowledge but also practical skills in ensuring the success of business education graduates in the professional world. By shedding light on this topic, this study can stimulate further research and discussions in the field, ultimately leading to the development of more effective educational strategies and policies.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study examines exploration of modern technological skills required of business education students for employability. The study is limited to selected private and public Secondary Schools in Oyo State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
- Modern technological skills: Modern technological skills refer to the skills and qualities that make an individual suitable for employment. These skills include both technical skills, such as knowledge of specific software or tools, as well as soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability.
- Business Education: Business Education is a field of study that focuses on providing individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in various business-related roles. It covers a wide range of subjects, including accounting, finance, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship.
- Graduate: A Graduate refers to an individual who has successfully completed a course of study at a college or university and has been awarded a degree or diploma. In the context of this study, it specifically refers to individuals who have completed a degree in Business Education.
- Modern Office: A Modern Office refers to a workplace that utilizes advanced technology and innovative practices to enhance productivity and efficiency. It typically includes the use of computers, software applications, communication tools, and other technological advancements to streamline operations and improve collaboration among employees.
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Project – EXPLORATION OF MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS REQUIRED OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS FOR EMPLOYABILITY