Manufacturing Mississippi's workforce: An assessment of employability skills as perceived by faculty and senior students of four year manufacturing related degree programs
A worldwide concern exists that undergraduate programs are not producing graduates with the kind of lifelong learning and professional skills needed for workplace success. Numerous research studies indicate new employees lack needed employability skills such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication. Similarly, recent national and state findings suggest that graduates of Mississippi's manufacturing-related degree programs may not be fully prepared to meet the needs of manufacturers in the state. Hence, this research proposes to determine the degree to which Mississippi's four-year manufacturing-related degree programs address employability. To answer this question, the present study utilizes descriptive non-experimental research to assess the perception of senior students and faculty in four key areas: 1) the level of importance attached to employability skills; 2) the integration of employability skills in the classroom; 3) students' possession of identified employability skills; and 4) strategies used by faculty to integrate employability skills into academic courses.