Exploring the Alignment Among Employer Expectations for STEM Skills and the Design of Education Curricula and Interventions
Considerable attention is being paid to postsecondary education as a venue for workforce development. At the heart of this assumption is the expectation that curriculum designers and STEM education professionals are aware of the types of skills and competencies that employers consider to be essential for success in their industry.
Yet little empirical evidence exists regarding employer expectations in STEM-related fields, which makes integration of these expectations into educational programs difficult.
The goals of this study are to (1) identify employer expectations for the types of skills, knowledge, and competencies required to succeed in their companies; (2) ascertain the degree to which these expectations are integrated into the design of educational curricula and STEM education intervention design; and (3) explore the implications of employer desires for “hard” (i.e., technical) and “soft” (i.e., critical thinking, teamwork) skills for the postsecondary curriculum.