Preparing for the job market
Sustainable development and social cohesion depend critically on the competencies of all of our population - with competencies understood to cover knowledge, skills, attitudes and values -OECD Education Ministers
Today’s societies place challenging demands on individuals, and the demands can be even greater for those who are faced with complexity in many parts of their lives. Often, the demands are for professional competency. But competency is more than just knowledge and skills. It involves the ability to meet complex demands by drawing on an individual’s skills and attitudes in a particular context. For example, the ability to communicate effectively via email is a competency that may draw on an individual’s knowledge of language, practical IT skills and attitudes towards those with whom they are communicating.
Globalisation and modernisation are creating an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. To make sense of and function well in this world, individuals need for example to master changing technologies and to make sense of large amounts of available information. In these contexts, the competencies that individuals need to meet their goals have become more complex, requiring more than the mastery of certain narrowly defined skills.
In working at An-Najah University, TYO is trying to help university students get ready for the complex and competitive needs of the modern economy. However it is not enough to know a few basic competency skills. The social and professional demands of the global economy require mastery of socio-cultural tools for interacting with knowledge, such as language, information, and communication as well as physical tools such as computers. Using tools interactively requires more than having access to the tool and the technical skills required to handle it (e.g. read a text, use software). Individuals also need to create and adapt knowledge and skills. This requires a familiarity with the tool itself as well as an understanding of how it changes the way one can interact with the world and how it can be used to accomplish broader goals.
It is of vital importance that graduates are ready for the ‘real world’ and acquire all the tools necessary to secure jobs in such a competitive market. Individual’s need a wide range of competencies in order to face the complex challenges of today’s world, hence at An-Najah, TYO is focusing on teaching competency skills that will benefit not only the individual but the society and the economy also.
Danish is a TYO intern in Nablus.