Employability skills of maritime business graduates: industry perspectives
Chen, PS-L and Cahoon, S and Pateman, H and Bhaskar, P and Wang, G and Parsons, J, Employability skills of maritime business graduates: industry perspectives, WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, 17, (2) pp. 267-292. ISSN 1651-436X (2018) [Refereed Article]
The maritime industry underpins international business and world trade. As to be expected, business management is critical for the maritime industry, requiring highly trained individuals and teams to lead the development, implementation and control of sound contemporary management practices. Maritime business degrees are developed by universities to meet such demand by providing graduates with sufficient skills for the onshore business-related roles. This empirical study conducted in Australia, USA and Canada, investigates current and future industry employability skills for maritime business graduates through focus groups, individual interviews and an online survey with senior managers in maritime organisations. This study found the important employability skills for maritime business graduates which include communication, problem solving, adaptability, self-management, team work, and digital literacy and technology. Demand for digital literacy and technology knowledge and skills have increased due to the maritime industry having a trend of moving towards digitalisation and automation. However, the survey findings revealed that a skills focus for maritime business graduates will not be the technology itself but the use and management of technology. In relation to future skills/knowledge required from maritime business degree graduates in 10 years’ time, communication and adaptability are recognised as being the most important. Employers expect that maritime business graduates should be able to adopt new technology and be competent in communication, and be more adaptable given the highly dynamic nature of the maritime industry. Moreover, they require graduates to be equipped with a higher level of computer skills, have a strong work ethic and multilingual skills.
employability skills, maritime industry, maritime business degree, undergraduate