Exploring the competency gap of it students in Thailand: The employers’ view of an effective workforce

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Adapting to the digital economy is part of the national agenda in many countries. Developing IT workforces to support business growth and innovation in Thailand is now a matter of urgency. Universities which are directly responsible for producing graduates for the employment market lack direction in designing curricula because they lack understanding of industry requirements. The absence of industrial demand research leads to a loss of opportunity to develop skills within the country’s working population and to maximize productive employment. The study described in this paper focused on IT internship students' competencies and aimed to analyze the gap in information technology competencies between employers’ expectations and their assessment of the current competencies of intern students they employ, and to analyze the important areas which make up an effective IT student from the employers’ perspective. The digital competence framework and the information technology competency model were modified to generate a structured questionnaire comprising closed-ended items, which was sent to organizations that are collaborating on work-integrated learning programs with universities in Thailand. Descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analysis were used as the analysis tools. The results found that employers’ highest expectations were in respect of the self-effectiveness competency and that students do not meet their expectations in that area. However, the interns exceed the employers’ expectations in respect of workplace ability and industry-wide core IT foundation skills. The regression models constructed suggested that the performance of IT students in the academic literacy and workplace ability competencies were most predictive of the average level of employers’ expectations. The findings from this empirical study can be used by universities to support curriculum reform in order to meet industry requirements and by students who need to be aware of employers’ needs in order to prepare themselves for employment in the IT industry.

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... Empirical studies of competency gaps in IT students in Thailand found a continued mismatch between industry demands and the abilities of the graduates (Siddoo et al., 2017). A survey conducted by the Thailand National Statistical Office 3 from 2014 to 2016 shows the number of IT graduates, and the number of IT jobs that industries need to fill. ...
... Subsequently, questionnaires were piloted by organizations included in a list from a previous study (Siddoo et al., 2017). The coefficient alpha statistics were calculated to assess the reliability of the questionnaire set (Cronbach, 1951). ...
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Industry 4.0 and the digital age have dramatically influenced both information technology (IT) job characteristics and IT labor demand. Leaders in higher education must keep up with the situation and accelerate plans to produce graduates with the quality and preparation required to meet industry needs. But based on the existing demand gap, universities are eager to first know which skills the IT-related industries expect from new digital workers. This study, conducted in Thailand, explores the competency of the digital workforce, an issue that was identified as vital to the 2017–2021 national agenda. The research project was divided into two steps. Phase one was to study and identify essential competencies for the digital workforce by first reviewing the literature, then verifying these results through qualitative methodology. Thirty IT experts in IT and related industries were invited to interview sessions. Eventually, after content analysis, 24 competencies were presented. Phase two was to survey the competency expectations of IT experts by using the initial questions generated by Phase One's outcome. 260 questionnaires were analyzed. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was selected to cluster the digital workforce competencies that were found. Three significant categories were selected based on Eigenvalue, and the average results of demand were explained. Industries had most expected competencies in the Professional skills and IT knowledge category, followed by the IT technical category and IT management and support category. The top five competencies desired were lifelong learning, personal attitude, teamwork, dependability, and IT foundations. However, there were some slightly different requirements between the IT industry and IT in non-IT industries. The results presented a new perspective that is very useful to Thailand. The academic sector can use these results to shape IT curriculum in order to effectively respond to real demand. In addition, recent graduates or graduating students can study these conclusions and better prepare themselves for future jobs.
... Although some authors argue that digital competences are tied to a profession [15,16] or only to work on a computer [17], our view is that to consider competences as something that serves the labour market can be short-sighted. In our library context, we see as more important their integration either into the role of iHumanist [5] or into the level of the civic competence profile. ...
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This study focuses on the analysis of changes in the digital competence profile of students of Information and Library Studies at Masaryk University in Czechia. As a research tool, we used the DigComp self-assessment questionnaire that students were asked to fill in after completing the course. Our research shows that students are insufficiently prepared for work as highly qualified information specialists. At the same time, we found that their competence profile remained very stable between 2018 and 2020. This finding indicates that students do not readily respond to new societal changes at the level of individual competences. The research results are based on data collected from 152 students during three runs of a compulsory course at the university. Information Science and Library Science students have long perceived their competences to be strongest in the domains of information and data literacy and communication and collaboration. Programming is the weakest competency among the competences, followed by solving technical problems and engaging in active citizenship through digital technologies. These findings can be used to innovate the curriculum to meet the demands of digitally competent information workers.
... I n this er a o f tech nologi cal dr iven an d globalization of business, excellence in academics is not enough for getting the job. Students must also have good communication and presentation skills. It has been observed that a significant gap exists between the employers expected performance and actual performance of the students (Siddoo et. al., 2017). The employability of technical graduates is low (Tulsi and Poonia, 2015) and availability of properly trained engineering graduates is necessary for the technical progress and economic growth of the society (Kövesi and Kálmán, 2019). ...
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Objective: Employability skills and placements are extremely important for any technical institute. Analysis of strengths, weakness, opportunities and challenges (SWOC) helps to make informed decisions on the inputs received from the stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to identify the SWOC of training and placement cell of a technical institute, undertake initiatives based on the SWOC analysis and determine the impact of these initiatives. Methodology: IT tools like Google form were designed and employed to carry out the SWOC analysis. This Google form was sent to the students and responses were obtained from 1087 students. The students responses were grouped under strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges and then segregated under five sub categories namely - institute and infrastructure; staff; teaching and learning; training / placement activities and mechanism or policies for improvement. Based on the SWOC analysis, certain initiatives were undertaken to overcome the weakness and to explore the opportunities. These initiatives have been mapped with the SWOC are analysed to determine the impact. To remain within the scope of this paper, data related to training and placement activities are presented in this paper. This SWOC analysis has been conducted in an engineering college located in the western part of India in the state of Maharashtra. Findings: Findings indicate that there has been a significant improvement in the number of placements, average package and industry footfall following the implementation of the initiatives. Average placements increased by 36.03%, average package increased by 2.31%, maximum package increased by 40% and industry footfall increased by 35%. According to the recruiter feedback, a satisfactory increase of around 10 to 15% has been observed in the leadership skills, overall behaviour and sincerity of the students. Limitations: The present study has considered only the activities related to training and placement cell for enhancing the employability skills and placements in the institute. A larger study including other categories needs to be undertaken. Social Implications: The analysis is based on the opinion of the students, faculty, recruiters and actual values obtained after the implementation of the initiatives. Authors believe that a similar process with suitable modifications can be adopted to enhance the employability skills of students and placements of any educational institute. Originality: This study is original in the sense that data is collected directly from the students. Further, in this study systematic mapping of SWOC analysis, initiatives undertaken and outcome of these initiatives is being carried out. The outcome of this study will help the Management, Principal and other senior faculty in developing appropriate strategies for enhancing the employability skills and placements. Keywords: Employability skills; Training and Placement; SWOC analysis; Higher Education; Global Competition; Quality Technical Education; Google Form; Google Sheets.
... Changes in labour requirements are considered in the regional context (Aničić & Arbanas, 2015;Siddoo, Sawattawee, Janchai, & Yodmongkol, 2017;Jandrić & Ranđelović, 2018) and in the professional context (Mesquita, Oliveira, & Sequeira, 2019;PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2019;Kharlamov, Kharlamova, & Koroteeva, 2017;Trostinskaia, Safonova, & Pokrovskaia, 2017). ...
In the current scenario, data scientists are expected to make sense of vast stores of big data, which are becoming increasingly complex and heterogeneous in nature. In the context of today's rapid technological development and its application in a growing array of fields, this role is evolving simultaneously. The present study provides an insight into the current expectations of employers seeking to hire individuals with this job title. It was achieved by harvesting relevant data from job advertisements published on US employment websites, which currently attract the US market's highest recruitment traffic. This research aims to identify the skills, experience, and qualifications sought by employers for their data scientists, thus also indicating to the candidates the tangible parameters that would increase their employability in such roles.
Conference Paper
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The article covers the application of dynamic pricing in the airline industry. The main focus of the article is the comparison of Turkish Airlines and their applications. The main purpose to provide information about and Turkey, as well as how to change consumer behavior in terms of the change in brand perception of fairness in pricing will lead to see the effect.
Background and purpose: In the age of globalization, Thailand is one of many countries in which most industries require large numbers of IT workers. However, there is today a significant shortage of IT-competent workers in many industries, particularly among the digital/IT industries and the reasons for the shortfall need to be explored. Therefore, the research described examines the critical factors affecting the development of the IT workforce to meet industry requirements through work integrated learning (WIL) programs and proposes a four-stage model to assist future workers to reach the standards necessary for IT careers.
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