Employers’ Perceptions of Business and Economics Graduates’ Competencies in Croatia

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Background: The issue of graduates’ competencies is not a new one, but was brought back into the spotlight after the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and the ensuing disturbances in the labour market. These disturbances were manifested through an increased unemployment rate, with a significant share of highly educated people.

Objectives: This paper provides an insight into employers’ assessment of the importance and sufficiency of the competencies acquired by business and economics university bachelor graduates in Croatia.

Methods/Approach: The methodology applied in this research includes the importance-performance analysis (IPA) that provides a two-dimensional importance-satisfaction grid. Data for the IPA analysis were collected by the structured questionnaire.

Results: Results indicated that employers are satisfied with specific competencies (business and economic) and that the emphasis of business and economics higher education institutions (HEI) should be placed on generic competencies.

Conclusions: Findings imply that mobility of highly educated people could be caused by the level and quality of specific competencies of bachelors with a degree from Croatian economics higher education institutions. Additionally, the conclusion of the conducted study indicates a need for implementation of student-oriented teaching methods, the introduction of obligatory internship, and introduction of courses oriented towards the development of generic competencies.

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