This study investigated the congruence between higher education and the labor market from the perspectives of college graduates in Liberia. It specifically examined the alignment of the skills college students acquire in college to Liberia’s labor market.
The study employed a Tracer Study quantitative research methodology. Tracer study as a methodology examines the output and outcome of learning students acquire from college from different kinds of respondents such as college graduates, employers, and postgraduate training institutions. This study investigated the congruence between higher education and the labor market in Liberia from the perspectives of college graduates who graduated from the University of Liberia and Cuttington University from 2005-2009. The study surveyed 400 graduates using research questionnaire. The questionnaire used in this study was a modified version of the Association of African University’s tracer study question. The instrument was developed by the Association of African University for use in any African country. As such, modifying it to meet a specific country’s context was imperative for achieving the desired result of this research.
Findings from the study indicated that universities in Liberia are to some extent providing skills that are relevant to Liberia’s labor market. However, graduate respondents expressed dissatisfaction about the study condition at their alma maters and expressed the need to improve the study conditions at their institution in Liberia. Such study conditions included improvement in learning environments, improvement in curriculum, faculty and universities and alumni connections. Unlike results from previous studies in other African Countries that found that there were large unemployment among graduates, this study find that more participants in this study were employed.
The finding of the study also revealed that college graduates are not satisfied with their current employment situation and that universities should improve on the skills they are developing in students for better alignment between college education and the world of works.
The findings of this study are important for curriculum development, higher education policy development, and higher education quality assurance. For improvement in learning condition, the study recommended that universities in Liberia need to begin to think about strategies that are useful for developing programs that could improve the alignment between higher education and the labor market in Liberia. One such program could be a strong curriculum program in internship and practicum that could provide graduates with relevant skills for their chosen careers.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2013. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Darwin D. Hendel, PH.D. and David Weertz, PH.D. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 141 pages, appendices A-B.
Flomo Jr., John S..
Aligning higher education to workforce needs in Liberia: a tracer study of University Graduate in Liberia.
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