In the first part of this series, we showed how our new Graduate Profiles Data can be used by universities to identify where their alumni are currently based. We then followed this up in our second part by showing how the data can also identify the companies that graduates are working for, which we did by looking specifically at profiles of graduates from Monash University. In this third and final part, we want to explore one further question — What skills are your graduates using? — and then close by suggesting a number of ways that this data can form a basis for answering some vital questions around graduate outcomes and the part your university is playing in a rapidly changing labour market.
Identifying Soft Skills
Our Profiles Data can be used to highlight both Soft Skills — that is, skills that are generally interpersonal and relational, and which because of their subjective nature tend to be hard to quantify — and Hard Skills — that is, objective skills and abilities that can be taught and learned, and which tend to be much easier to quantify. Beginning with Soft Skills, once again, we can tap into profiles from Monash University alumni, and in the graphic below we have picked out the Top 15 of these skills that they are using:
As you can see, there is a strong emphasis on leadership skills, with Leadership itself appearing in over 41,000 profiles, Leadership Development in over 4,500, and Educational Leadership in nearly 1,800. This accords with job title data we have for Monash University graduates, which shows a large number in senior management positions.
Identifying Hard Skills
Moving on to Hard Skills, this is where things become more specific, as you can see from the graphic below, which shows the Top 15 Hard Skills in our data on Monash University alumni:
Clearly Management is a vital skill, with over 47,500 profiles naming it, which again we would expect given that our job title data shows a significant number of Monash alumni in senior management positions. Other significant job titles include Research Analysts and Research Assistants, and so it is no surprise to see that Research features highly on this list, being mentioned in over 26,500 profiles.
However, much of the value in the Hard Skill data comes when digging beneath the top skills, simply because a number of them tend to be fairly generic and so extend across a whole range of jobs (such as Strategic Planning, Customer Service, and Microsoft Office, Excel, Word and PowerPoint). But if we look beyond these top skills, we can begin to see more specific and potentially more interesting insight. For instance:
- Over 7,800 profiles name SQL (Programming Language)
- Negotiation is mentioned in over 7,200 profiles
- 3,547 profiles mention Clinical Research
- 3,050 mention Lawsuits
- MATLAB Computer programming is mentioned in over 2,500
By digging into these sorts of details, a university can really begin to build up a picture of what kinds of skills their graduates are using, which can then feed into their course planning, especially in terms of looking at whether certain skills modules might be added to improve existing provision.
Taking this Further
Although that is the end of this series, it is only the beginning of the sorts of things that can be done with the Graduate Profiles Data. For instance, here are the sorts of questions that we can answer by undertaking a deeper analysis of the insight:
- How do the skills that your graduates are using compare to what global employers are recruiting for?
- How well do the jobs and professional skills that your graduates are using match up with the degrees they earned?
- How do your graduate outcomes compare with other universities, particularly with those you see as your peer institutions?
We hope to return to these questions with some further blog posts in a few weeks time, but in the meantime if you want to find out more, why not join us for our free webinar on 29th April where we’ll be asking the question: What are the REAL employment outcomes of your graduates?
Sign up for this webinar by clicking the button below.