Student and employer perceptions of the importance of entry-level employability skills

High school students may not be aware of the specific employability skills needed in the workforce, and therefore may not be adequately prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. The purpose of this study was to assess the perceived importance of 30 employability skills as determined by agriculture-related employers and high school agriculture students in Nevada County. Thirty skills were ranked using a Likert type scale ranging from 0 (no importance) to 3 (most important). The goal was to use the collected data to determine which employability skills should be taught within a high school agriculture course in order to best prepare high school agriculture students for the workplace. Employers ranked employability skills related to personal and social behaviors of greatest importance. Students perceived employability skills related to time management and deadlines as most important. Both employers and high school students ranked most of the employability skills as moderately important.