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Competency can be described as skills or knowledge that one holds that lead to better or superior performance. The differences showed by competencies are based mainly on the skills, knowledge and abilities (Bright 2011).
Competency and Skills Comparison
Just as graduates have various skills in their area of work, a student also has various skills that a graduate does not necessarily have. Some of the basic skills that a student can be better at as compared to a graduate include communication and interpersonal skills. This is due to the fact that as a university student, one is exposed to different types of people from different cultures (Watts 1996). This can be said to be the case on the basis that as a graduate in the labor market, one is limited to exposure in terms of interaction since almost every day one works with the same people as per many jobs. Apart from having good interpersonal and communication skills, students have also proved to be very innovative and creative. This may be due to the effect that they are not burdened with work and thus have much time to be creative and are in constant search of success. The skills of a graduate, however, outshine those of a student from many different points of view in that they are more experienced in terms of work experience, work ethics and management, network and work efficiency. These are some of the skills and relationships that will help a student in terms of development.
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In the modern graduate job market, employers are changing their tactics in tackling the issue of employment on the due to the rigidity of the process. The regular process of employment that involves interviews is most likely to give the results of an average employee, and due to this fact, employers are going a step further so as to make sure that they get the best candidates possible in the aim of making out the best out of their employees. The employers thus look for alternative ways to test competencies and skills of individuals. One of the skills that employers go further in testing is the transferable skill. Transferrable skills are the sets of attitude and knowledge that have been acquired through one’s personal life experiences and talents; they include schooling, previous jobs, hobbies and activities such as sports. Testing of transferrable skills is one of the major ways that employers are currently choosing in the aim of changing direction away from the rigid usual employment process. One of the main reasons that employers are seeking employees with transferrable skills in the employment process is due to the fact that they want employees who can be of use in a variety of ways as compared to just seeking job titles.
The economy is constantly changing thus leading employers to look for employees who are flexible in that they will be able to do the work that is required despite the changing status of the economy. This therefore means that employers will seek for employees who have the ability to change departments without being affected in a major way. Some of the transferrable skills that many industries are putting on top of their lists in search of these generic skills include; communication, cooperation and interaction skills, management, organization, research, and planning skills. These are some of the basic skills that the general employment sector seeks in the employment process in regard to flexibility.
In order to achieve the necessary skills of a graduate in the labor market, an action plan is necessary to bridge the gap that exists in terms of skills. In covering the gap in terms of work ethics, the action plan includes being involved in activities that will improve work experience, such as applying for an internship. Due to the fact that the acceptance of an internship in many organizations is hard to find with the inclusion of pay, one can dedicate his/her time and work as an intern for free. This is acceptable for many organizations and for me as the student will not be entirely free due to the fact that I am gaining experience in the field that I am about to join. The other gap is the gap of work management that will be solved by internship, whereby I will learn how to manage work, because from the involvement in the work I will be able to learn from my fellow colleagues since they are more experienced.
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Concerning the gap of networking, interacting with fellow colleagues as an intern will lead to knowing people who will improve the chances in the employment sector on the basis that I will get to showcase my ability and talent in my work.
Another major gap that exists between the graduate and the student at the university level can also be evaluated on the basis of work efficiency. Graduates who are already in the graduate market are advantaged, because they are more efficient since they have been involved in the work more than a student. This therefore leads to a major gap between the two. One of the ways that this gap can be bridged is through the internship. In order to be better in case of complexity of a job, one can get involved in free projects to increase the efficiency in my work (Hawkins 1999).
Even with almost all the gaps bridged between the student and the graduates, some of them cannot be bridged. One of such gaps is the qualification. A student does not have the qualification required, but the graduate has the qualifications necessary in terms of the presence of a degree or a diploma. If a student and a graduate seek the same job, a graduate is more likely to get the work mainly on the basis of qualification. Even with the gaps between the two having being bridged, an employer will be influenced largely by the presence of a certificate that shows that a person is qualified and the fact that in some cases it is illegal for people to be working without a qualification despite their experience.
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The Changing Nature of the Graduate Employment Market:
The application of an internship will not only cover work experience, but it will help me gain and learn the skills that are used by the graduates in the labor market and also get an idea of the ethics for the sector as well as for my specialization (Koning 2001). The internship will also help me learn how to manage work in my area of specialization. In such case, I will be able to learn from my fellow colleagues at the workplace how they get to manage various tasks and as to how they get be efficient at their work.
Due to the changing nature of the employment market, there has been economic uncertainty and even many companies getting to a point of closure and on this basis, it is evident that my employment chances are low since there are more graduates flooding the market with equal capabilities as I have (Ackers 2003). Large numbers of graduates and the state of the economy will affect my employment chances as they will be lower due to the fact that there may be other graduates with better grades and other additional qualifications (Meiksins 2008). This can be backed up on the basis that there is an increase in unemployment levels of graduates in many careers due to the fact that there are many graduates, with the vacancies available are limited (Inkson 2007).
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Due to the reduced chances of employment considering the current situation of the economy, the vacancies available have greatly reduced, and the number of graduates is annually increasing at a high rate. Therefore, it means that the employers with a large pool of labor and a variety of persons to choose from will tend to choose a person that is good in almost all sectors. One, therefore, has to strive to be employable as compared to being employed (Hawkins 1999).
In the current employment sector, there are some STEEP factors that affect my current sector of employment that include the economic aspect, technological, and political aspects. The economic aspects include the current state of the economy. When economy is at downfall, employment opportunities decline due to the fact that costs of production increase with even the employed being laid off leaving the most suited (Ackers 2003). Technological factors also reduce the chances of employment due to the fact that with innovations in the technological industry, the profit margin is increasing but at a cost of labor reduction thus leading to lower even lower employment opportunities. Political factors also contribute largely to employment opportunities. The policies implemented by the government of a country in relation to employment and economic factors highly affect the labor market. Certain policies such as tax increments are likely to reduce the opportunities in the labor market due to fact that with increment in tax, firms’ profit margin is decreased, which might lead to the eventual laying off of workers thus lower employment chances.
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It can be concluded that with the present graduates with many qualifications and work experience that the organizations in the labor market are looking for, one stands a better chance against the other graduates with whom you are applying for the same job.