Academic Development and Employability

Academic Development and Employability

Executive Summary

To excel in higher education, skills such as reading and writing, critical thinking, analysis and evaluation, reporting, research, communication, PC skills and leadership skills among others are significant. Higher education students require these skills to be able to undertake the several elements of the higher education courses. These skills can be deployed in the labor market. In the aviation industry, an analyst has the responsibilities of supporting the manager and other team members in the undertaking of activities such research, monitoring and evaluation. These responsibilities require effective communication, reporting skills, research skills and other responsibilities acquired with high education.


Within the higher education fraternity, there is increased attention geared towards enhancing the employability of students. Employability is the possession of relevant skills to obtain, sustain, and progress in a career. Employability is one of the key reasons why people join the higher colleges and universities. Students are motivated to join the higher education to gain a better position of acquiring a progressive career (Watts, 2006 p 3). In addition, apart from the benefits to the students, there are policy concerns. The government contributes much in higher education with an aim to develop human capital. If students are highly employable, then there is significant economic yield from the higher education investment (Heckman, 2000 p 30).


The major aims of this report are to;

  • Demonstrate how the academic skills needed for higher education can be deployed in the workplace
  • Relate the skills acquired in higher education with employability of graduates.


The objectives of this report include;

  • Identify the academic skills needed for higher education
  • Demonstrate how such skills can be deployed in the aviation industry after graduation.

Higher Education Skills

Several academic skills are required for higher education.  One of the vital skills is writing and reading skills. In higher education, one must be able to read and write to be able to prosper. Another skill is critical analysis and evaluation. There are many concepts involved in higher education, which requires analysis through critical thinking (Bennett et al., 2000 p 56). In higher education, one has to analyses concepts critically to be able to understand the key attributes and meanings rather than the outer meaning. Communication is essential for higher education. Communication can be written, verbal, or virtual. One must possess the necessary skills to be able to communicate effectively with other students and instructors. Communication must be logical and effective. Another skill is the presentation skill. In higher education, much analysis is required for presentation. A presentation must be chronological and logical for one to make meaning.

In the aviation industry, there are skills, which are required. With a specific focus on an analyst in the aviation industry, skills such as reporting skills, critical thinking and evaluation, analysis skills, communication skills and presentation skills among others are significant. Such skills are attainable through higher education, but one must be able to deploy these skills into the workplace (Fallows and Steven, 2013 p 45). An analyst in the aviation industry has several responsibilities. These include supporting research and presentations, sales activities, policy initiatives, and industry meetings. These skills are developed through experience and cannot be learnt.

Communication skills

Communication is the sharing of information between or more people. Effectual communication occurs when the information receiver understands the information the same way as the sender. Thus, communication is a shared understanding. Besides, communication can be verbal or written (Crosling and Ward, 2002 p 50). In higher education, communication skills are relevant in communicating with fellow students and instructors. When a student understands the instructions of the instructor, they effective communication has occurred. An aviation industry analyst works together with the area manager and other designated team members to ensure that all activities are running smoothly. This requires effective communication.

First, communication is significant in developing a positive working relationship with team members. Without communication, an employee in the aviation industry will not work effectively in support the team members. Research has shown that most of the people’s conversation time is devoted to personal relationships and social topics. Language evolved to enable the bonding between humans. Communication skills come in to help in creating a rapport. If the environment around the communication is not relaxed, then the conversation becomes difficult. In verbal communication, there are elements such as eye contact and body movements that communicate a lot. Thus, the communication skills gained in higher education are helpful in the workplace in creating a working relationship with other employees.

In communication, information sharing occurs through different mediums. However, this information comes in bits. The information has to be logical and understandable. If the receiver cannot understand the information relayed, then there is no communication. In the aviation industry, reports are generated which relay information to different people. This is a form of written communication. The report has to be organized and logically for the intended audience to understand. In addition, the language used must be understandable. This kind of communication requires good communication skills in the workplace.  When an aviation industry analyst is required to undertake sales activities, verbal communication becomes the vital skill in undertaking the task. In general, in the aviation industry, communication skills are significant. There is a lot of information passing from one person to another, and it has to be flow by applying the academic communication skills.

Research Skills

In higher education, the students undertake a lot of research in different topics to help them gain the research skills (Clanchy and Ballard, 1995p 160). An aviation industry analyst helps the manager and other team members in researching and generating reports. The researching part requires research skills. Research helps in generating patterns and new ideas. However, active research is very important in generating such ideas and patterns (Evangelista and Savona, 2003 p 456). Research has several stages and elements, which are important for one to capture. If a research is inaccurate, then the results will be inaccurate thus generating wrong patterns and ideas. This can be very costly to an organization or industry.

Research skills are essential in the aviation industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) conducts market research to guide the generation of procedures and policies. Policies and procedures are significant in the running of any industry. This kind of research involves both qualitative and quantitative research skills both of which are acquired in higher education. Thus, an analyst for IATA would need good research skills to be able to generate effective results to guide the generation of policies. If IATA adopts the wrong policies due to inaccurate research, then the whole industry suffers. With the changes in technology and economic conditions, the aviation industry is experiencing many changes, which requires new policies and procedures. This calls for effective analysts who will conduct effective industry studies to be able to generate effective policies for the industry.

Reporting Skills

An analyst in the aviation industry has to report to someone else mostly a manager. After conducting several activities such as research and sales activities, the analyst has to report the findings to the manager. Besides, the Analyst works under a manager and has to report the results of all activities undertaken. Whether verbal or written, the report has to capture the relevant information in a simple but detailed manner. Just like in higher education where students undertake research projects and generate reports, reports have to be generated for any activities undertaken in the workplace. Reports can be in different forms. A simple excel sheet with activities and results is a report provided it captures the relevant details. Thus, it is agreeable that a report is effective if it captures the relevant information in a simple and detailed manner.

To generate an effective report, one requires reporting and development skills. A report is developed through several stages including gathering and organizing the materials, analysis the information in the materials and then writing a report. All this requires skills in report writing. Thus, the higher education reporting skills are vital in generating credible reports. In addition, with research, there must be reports. The presentation of facts has to be chronological and logical which all requires effective reporting.

Leadership Skills

Virtually all industries require leadership skills, which is a major skill, acquired in higher education. Leadership skills are the key to effective management. A good manager is a leader (Adair, 2007 p 36). For sustainable employability, one requires leadership skills. An analyst in the aviation industry may want to be a manager tomorrow. However, the employee cannot develop to that level without leadership skills. Leadership skills are not taught rather it is acquired through experience (Dugan and Komives, 2007). However, the experience has to be decorated with ideas and principles. The experience itself does not make one a good leader. A good leader is a strategic thinker. This leader evaluates an idea critically and generates the way forward.

A leader leads a different kind of people. This calls for appropriate leadership styles for the different people. A good leader can use the different leadership skills to be efficient.

For most employees, their aim is to develop gradually in their career. For an analyst in the aviation industry, the responsibilities include supporting the team members and the area manager in different capacities. Such an employee would wish to be a full team member and then develop to the area manager. This way, the employee experiences growth in his/her career. Leadership skills are important while one is trying to maintain a high employability status.

PC Skills

In higher education, students use computers in their studies. With the development of technology, students are now undertaking high education from the comfort of their homes through computer applications. Everything from assignments and exams is taken online. All one needs is a computer and the computer skills to be able to operate it (Di Gropello, 2012 p 10). Today, the aviation industry is computerized. Activities such as data collection and analysis are done on real time basis using computer applications. In addition, data is analyzed using data analysis software, which then generates reports based on the commands given. Thus, having acquired PC skills in higher education, it is easy to fit in as an analyst in the aviation industry requires PC skills. Skills such as Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets creation, Microsoft word for processing Word and PowerPoint for presentations are commonly useful in higher education are also significant in the aviation industry.


Most of the academic skills needed for higher education are important in the labor market. As presented above, an analyst in the aviation industry deploys skills such as reporting, presentations, data analysis, and communication and PC skills. Employers require most of the skills acquired through higher education. The skills gained in higher education are easy to integrate into a specific industry. Most of these skills are relevant for all industries and makes the higher education students employable.


Though the higher education skills are significant in the labor market, there is need to identify those skills that do not add value to higher education students. It is possible that some of the academic skills required for higher education cannot be deployed in any industry. Further research needs to be done to identify such skills and erase them in the higher education curriculum.



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Di Gropello, E., 2012. Putting higher education to work. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

Dugan, J.P. and Komives, S.R., 2007. Developing leadership capacity in college students. College Park, Md.: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs Retrieved June, 21, p.2012.

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