Post-internship Skills Gap Identification among Malaysian Engineering Students
Internship is one of the linkages programmes between higher learning institutions and the industries where it has become a common practice for students to undergo work-based trainings prior graduation to hone their skills and to experience real workplace trainings. Apart from providing on-job trainings, such practice has helped students to develop range of skills needed to perform in real workplaces. Numbers of studies have been conducted to identify the skills that are needed by the employers as means to inform and improvise higher learning institutions’ academic practice however the perspectives of students are often overlooked. Furthermore, surveys conducted to represent general characteristics of a population, which might lack in-depth explanation that helps frame further actionable plans. Hence, this study seeks to identify the post-internship skills gap from the perspectives of Malaysian engineering students through qualitative approach. Thematic analysis of final internship reports has been conducted to identify the skills gap which encompass the in-depth discussion on the skills that are needed by the employers or to perform tasks effectively, and the skills deemed to be useful for future professional development. Through students’ reflective writing analysis, the findings indicate that internship fostered numbers of skills which are perceived crucial for Malaysian engineering students’ professional development. As a conclusion, the identification of skills gap through the lens of students’ perspective as means to improvise current practice of internship in the higher learning institution is put forth and highlighted through qualitative analysis
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