Employer expectations for graduates from Haiti’s agricultural universities
Human capacity building in Haiti’s agricultural sector can be utilized to reduce the country’s food insecurity. Haitian agricultural university and technical schools are responsible for supplying workforce ready graduates and therefore play a role in poverty reduction. Previous research has been conducted to assess these institutions from the perspective of faculty, students, and farmers. However, the employer perspective has not been considered, which could lead to a disconnect between what employers and the university believe are essential skills for graduates to obtain. This study focused on identifying the perceptions of the Haitian agricultural workforce regarding the ability of technical schools to produce graduates. This study used a basic qualitative design involving interviews of Haitian agricultural employers. The interviews revealed employers perceptive of curriculum strengths and weaknesses as well as desired employer skills for graduates. Employers also provided insight into the current job opportunities for graduates as well as what makes an “ideal” employee. We found a disconnect between jobs available and the skills being taught to graduates to fill these jobs. While employers desire employees with strong soft skills, there is a need for more technical skills to be taught at the agricultural schools.
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