Job Focus: Revisiting Students’ Communicative Needs and Industrial Demands
In an attempt to develop students’ employability skills through a job-specific, needs based English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course, this paper investigated conducting a needs analysis to understand the perceptions of the final-year technical students, alumni, and Human Resources (HR) managers for promoting placements in the campus recruitments. By employing a qualitative ethnographic approach, an open-ended questionnaire was conducted with final-year information technology students and structured and unstructured interviews with the HR managers and the alumni respectively. In this study, the communicative needs of the final-year technical students were specifically addressed to provide them with career education and placement training and raise employment opportunities in their course of study. Based on the results of the questionnaire-based survey and subsequent observations in the structured and unstructured interviews, it is widely examined that all of the HR managers reflected on the importance of English language in corporate communications. The findings of the survey also reflected that the perceptions of the alumni and the expectations of the HR managers on verbal and nonverbal skills were well received by the final-year technical students. This is a positive development on the part of students as they were found to be thoroughly aware of their workplace needs and were keen to develop language, communication, and soft skills for successfully entering into the job market. This research implies that connecting institution and industry is a significant factor in helping students obtain job offers and develop the job-specific skills that meet the requirements of the industry.
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