21st Century Skills for Higher Education Students in EU Countries: Perception of Academicians and HR Managers

  •  Mehmet Emin Bakay    


The main objective of the study is to analyze the EU labor market needs and expectations in 21st Century skills in five countries from the point of view of academicians and HR managers. The meta-analysis research method was used to analyze the current reports of Turkey, the Czech Republic, Italy, Bulgaria, and Spain. The research results and findings of each country report have been comparatively analyzed. The research sample consists of five national reports. All views obtained from 28 human resources managers and 14 academicians were examined. According to research results, HR managers have more practical and pragmatist expectations from graduates such as business intelligence, knowledge of foreign languages, and continuous learning. Academicians emphasize graduates’ data mining ability, which refers to critical thinking. While academicians give high priority to communication and problem-solving, HR managers prioritize collaboration/team working skills. Agility skills defined as the ability to adapt to the changing conditions, are put in the second place by HR managers. According to academicians and HR managers, the most important 21st Century skills, in five countries, are communication, collaboration, and self-direction. There exists a need for innovative teaching materials to teach aforementioned skills to higher education students.

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