Impact of higher education, science and technology curriculum on employability of graduates in the construction industry
Kiiza, Smith Semu
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This research sought to investigate the impact of the Higher Education (HE) Science and Technology curriculum on employability of graduates in the construction industry. The study was guided by three study objectives and adopted a cross sectional survey design which covered a sample of 124 respondents selected from 62 firms in Kampala and Wakiso Districts. Data collection was done by the use of a self-administered questionnaire, interview guide including a review of the related literature. The main statistical procedures employed included the paired samples t-test, the Analysis of Variance and a Pearson correlation. The study established a negative and significant relationship between the skill requirements of the construction industry and what graduates have which implies that the skills and competencies provided by higher education do not adequately match with the employability skills required by employers. With regard to the second objective, it was established that although technicians and engineers considered the training as somehow effective, architects and surveyors refuted this claim and according to them, the training they underwent was generally ineffective in the acquisition or development of technical, business and personal skills and competencies required in the construction industry. But overall, the perceptions of graduates with regard to the relevance of HE in helping them acquire and develop skills needed were not statistically dependent on their current designations. The study also established a significantly positive relationship between HE collaboration with the construction industry and employability skills of graduates. Employers who perceived collaboration with HE to be an important factor were also likely to have high expectations from graduates with regard to the skills they considered to be crucial in the construction industry. Conclusions and recommendations were then made on the basis of the research findings. Key words: Employability, Higher Education Science and Technology (HEST), higher education collaboration.