DiBenedetto, C. A. and Willis, V. C.. (2020). Post-secondary students’ perceptions of career readiness skills. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(1), 44-59. doi: 10.5032/jae.2020.01044
Awareness of one’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions are important for college graduates to excel in the workforce. The purpose of this study was to administer a needs assessment to students enrolled in the Agricultural Sciences department at Clemson University to determine areas of discrepancy based on perceived levels of proficiency and importance of knowledge, skills, and dispositions for career readiness. The Borich needs assessment model was used to discern between student’s perceived competency and importance of career readiness skills within nine constructs. Constructs were analyzed and ranked using mean and grand mean weighted discrepancy scores. We found career skills, interdisciplinary skills, life skills, and learning skills ranked as the highest areas of need. Some differences were revealed among the three majors in the department, but career skills were consistently ranked as students’ highest priority need. The majority of the students believed they were most responsible for developing skills to prepare themselves to be career ready. Recommendations included expanded data collection among employers, faculty, secondary education teachers and students, and post-secondary students enrolled at technical colleges and conducting a pre/post survey of students as they enter their first semester and complete their final semester to determine any change in student perception over time.