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Student Perceptions of Workforce Readiness in Agriculture

Author: Hendrix, R; Morrison, C

Organisation: Journal of Agricultural Education

Published: September 2018

Country: United States

Research type: Quantitative

The purpose of this study was to examine postsecondary agriculture students’ perceptions of and their personal competence in various workforce readiness skills. In addition, we sought to determine students’ views of the importance of workforce readiness skills. The findings indicate that the participants felt most confident in their abilities to work independently and without supervision, demonstrate loyalty, and act in a manner that displays responsibility and respect for others. They felt least confident in all areas of communication, but especially in written formats such as formal reports and documents. Rankings of skill importance revealed that participants believed maintaining harmony in the workplace and building positive relationships were considered to be most essential, with personal responsibility and communication close behind. Finally, an analysis of entry-level job announcements indicates that the skills most sought by employers include communication, teamwork, attitude, creativity, flexibility, and independence.