ERIC Number: ED280968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: 0
What Do Employers Want from Education?
The overwhelming impression from an examination of developing nations throughout the world is that there is no neat and universal explanation of what employers want from school and university education. Neither does there appear to be any firm connection between scholastic qualifications and job functions. The nearly universal absence of a systematic matching of jobs and employees makes it more appropriate to think in terms of a theory based on unexamined assumptions, rules-of-thumb, inertia, and narrow responses to changing circumstances. The only consensus seems to be that some schooling for employment in the modern job sector is desirable. Apart from that, the relative importance of such factors as having adequate preparation, identifying ability and potential, screening for social compatibility, or political screening is subject to dispute and wide variation. Qualifications or educational credentials appear to function simply as a convenient starting point for employers, whether they be small organizations or governments (when they are acting as employers). When acting as educators, however, governments should recognize explicitly that the links between levels of schooling and particular jobs are largely arbitrary. They might then organize their educational reforms with less attention to labor force development and more attention to high-quality schooling from the first grade. Employee selection and job-specific training appear to be best left to employers. (MN)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: London Univ. (England). Inst. of Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Vocationalising Education Conference (London, England, May 7-9, 1986).