Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier





Objectives: The current objectives include the development of a global competency model applicable across a wide range of jobs, industries, and geographies for university graduates entering the workplace.

Method: The competency model was developed utilizing a global panel of subject matter experts and a validation survey of over 25,000 students, faculty, staff, and employers across more than 30 countries.

Results: The results showed substantial consistency for the importance and criticality ratings of the competencies, with Achieving Objectives, Analyzing and Solving Problems, Adapting to Change, Communicating Orally, Learning and Self-Development, Making Decisions, Planning and Organizing, and Working Well with Others as the highest-rated competencies across regions, roles, and industries.

Conclusions: The most important competencies for students entering the workforce were consistent across different jobs, different industries, and different countries. The diversity and varied experience levels of the sample provide greater generalizability than most competency modeling projects that are often idiosyncratic to specific roles, industries, subjects, or levels.

Implication for Theory and/or Practice: University faculty and staff can use the results of the validation study to develop curricula and programs that will be better able to foster important competencies to ensure that their students are better prepared to enter the workplace. Although some organizations emphasize leadership as important for all professional employees, Managing the Work of Others, Leading Others, and Influencing Others were consistently rated lower in importance by employers across all roles and regions and may not be appropriate as the primary focus of skill development for new graduates.