What Employers Want And What Universities Teach: A Comparison Of UPAEP Business Programs And Auto Industry Recruiting in the Puebla Region
Reyes Guerrero, Soraya
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Mexico’s new business graduates are facing the problem of an extensive job-search, which impacts employability of new graduates because only 60% of them can obtain a job during the first year after graduation (Universia Mexico, 2013). This problem was studied from a case study perspective within the context of the automotive industry in Puebla, Mexico as a workplace for business graduates. The purpose was to identify automotive industry needs in terms of human talent and to contrast them with the current university curricula in business studies. Detecting a potential gap between industry needs and university education was the main research question. To answer the question, the data were collected through individual interviews conducted with automotive industry recruiters, combined with findings of business program curricula analysis of the UPAEP’s School of Business. Using purposive sampling, (Baker & Edwards, 2016), 11 of the 68 automotive firms were invited to participate in interviews. Additionally, curricula-related artifacts of the UPAEP School of Business programs were analyzed to determine which skills, knowledge, abilities, and behaviors (SKABs) are transmitted to the students during academic instruction and coded following Corbin and Strauss’ (2015) guidelines. After comparing both sets of data, it was found that not all of the SKABs demanded by recruiters are transmitted to students in the UPAEP’s School of Business. The detected gaps negatively impact the employability of new graduates. A major conclusion is that a praxis-based education is preferred to develop soft skills in graduates. Further research is suggested to change the current state of industry/university (I/U) relationships and graduates’ invested time to employment in Mexico.