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Title: Are undergraduate accounting students developing transferable skills that meet stakeholder needs? : an international study
Author: Towers-Clark, J. H.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis focuses on the transferable skills of accounting undergraduates and explores whether undergraduate accounting students are meeting the current needs of stakeholders as well as looking to future needs. It reports on perceptions from an accounting graduate perspective and from the perspective of higher education institutions, employers and professional accountancy bodies. The analysis and evaluation of transferable skills is undertaken within the framework of globalised accountancy education. The thesis reports on the triangulation of results from a quantitative on line survey into graduate perceptions with findings from a qualitative study of other stakeholders using semi-structured interviews. My study has a global perspective, with recent graduates being surveyed from a global population and with interviewees representing global institutions and institutions from the UK, Singapore and Australia. This thesis intends to assess whether or not stakeholder needs are being met and, if not, how any deficiencies can be addressed. Although my thesis is primarily about transferable skills, I have also included in my findings current perceptions on the relative importance of technical skills versus transferable skills. Technical skills are subject-specific knowledge skills and transferable skills are generic skills which have transferable qualities to the industry in which the graduate works. They also report on transferable skills where there continues to be an expectation performance gap evidenced by differing stakeholder perceptions on including emotional intelligence and resilience, as well as the importance of definitions in stakeholder perceptions. It highlights those skills that are expected to become more important for employability, such as IT skills, considering factors that may influence the relative importance of these skills, such as the size of the employer firm. The main contribution of this thesis is a review of the current transferable skills of accounting graduates and whether they are meeting stakeholder needs, with recommendations as to how to reduce the expectation performance gap for stakeholders and insights into how to future proof transferable skills in the medium term. The thesis also highlights evidence of the development of professionalism as a differentiating factor for the accounting graduate in a competitive employer-driven global market place.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available