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  • Special Issue: E-learning in the Disciplines of Economics and Business Studies
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The competency profile of online BMA graduates viewed from a job market perspective

El perfil competencial de los graduados de Administración y Dirección de Empresas en línea: una visión desde el mercado de trabajo

Abstract

One of the cornerstones of the European Higher Education Area is its emphasis on a higher education that prepares graduates for a profession. Within this context, competencies play a key role in the design of degree courses because they constitute dynamic elements that enable higher education institutions to address the changing needs of society. In this setting, generic competencies become particularly relevant for the job market.

Additionally, in recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of online higher education options. Although there has been a lot of research into the effectiveness of e-learning, very few studies have actually looked into the employability potential of online graduates.

This study analyses the impact that the online training methodology has on the employability potential of Business Management and Administration (BMA) graduates, and it does so from a two-fold perspective — that of online students and graduates themselves, and that of employers — by appraising the level of acquisition of generic competencies that are essential to the profile of the online BMA graduate. The findings show that online graduates have a positive appraisal of their education, which contrasts with their negative perception of how this training is appraised by the job market. On the other hand, business employers consider that, even though the competency level of online graduates may be lower in some of these competencies (teamwork, leadership) when compared to face-to-face students, it is similar in most of them and even higher in others (using ICT, searching for and managing information and time management, among others). These findings point to a shift in the way employers perceive online graduates and their ability to compete with face-to-face students.

Resumen

Uno de pilares sobre los que se sustenta la construcción del espacio europeo de educación superior es la apuesta por una formación universitaria profesionalizadora. Las competencias se convierten en el eje fundamental del diseño de las titulaciones, al ser los elementos dinámicos que permiten responder a las necesidades comblantes de la sociedad. Y las competencias transversales adquieren un papel preponderante dentro del perfil competencial demandado por el mercado de trabajo.

Asimismo, en los últimos años se está produciendo un crecimiento significativo de la oferta de formación superior en linea. Si bien existen múltiples investigaciones que han explorado la efectividad instructional del e-learning, aún son muy escasos los estudios sobre el potential de empleabilidad de los graduados en línea.

En esta investigación se analiza el impacto de la metodología formativa, en línea, sobre el potential de empleabilidad de los graduados de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ADE). Este análisis se realiza desde la perspectiva de los propios estudiantes y graduados en línea, y los empleadores, a través de la valoración del nivel de adquisición de competencias transversales esenciales para el perfil competencial del graduado de ADE. Los resultados muestran una visión favorable de los graduados en línea respecto a su propia formación, lo que contrasta con su percepción negativa sobre cómo esta formación es valorada en el mercado de trabajo. Sin embargo, los empresarios consideran que aunque el nivel competencial de los graduados en línea es inferior en alguna de las competencias (trabajo en equipo, liderazgo), es similar en la gran mayoría e incluso superior en algunas de ellas (uso de las TIC, búsqueda y gestión de la información, gestión del tiempo, entre otras). Estos resultados confirman el cambio de tendencia de los empleadores en su percepción sobre los graduados en línea y su capacidad de competir con estudiantes presenciales.

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Correspondence to Àngels Fitó Bertran.

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Fitó Bertran, À., Martínez Argüelles, M.J. & Moya Gutiérrez, S. The competency profile of online BMA graduates viewed from a job market perspective. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 11, 13–25 (2014). https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v11i2.2053

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Keywords

  • European Higher Education Area
  • generic competencies
  • employability
  • e-learning
  • Business Management and Administration

Palabras clave

  • espacio europeo de educación superior
  • competencias transversales
  • empleabilidad
  • e-learning
  • administración y dirección de empresas