Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine the developmental needs of university students (N=103) supported by an NGO scholarship regarding employability related soft skills.
Methods: A question form prepared by the researcher based on the literature review of studies conducted to examine the developmental needs of university students regarding employability related soft skills (5,10). The form included questions about demographic information, students’ willingness level to join a training program to be conducted on each of these skills and their reasons for their prioritized developmental need. The survey method was used in the study. Descriptive statistical analyses and the content analysis technique were used in data analysis.
Results: The results revealed that the students had a high developmental need (X̅=4,07 out of 5) on all soft skills. The skill which the students prioritized as a developmental need was stress management (X̅=4,25). Students’ discourses revealed that their need to develop their stress management skills stemmed from the need to cope with the internal/external sources of stress as well as its behavioral, physiological, cognitive and emotional symptoms and the need to support their career development. Moreover, it was seen that students who were enrolled in Health Sciences related faculties had a lower willingness level to join a training program to be conducted on these skills compared to those enrolled at Engineering/Architecture and Other faculties.
Conclusion: The results point out that students have a high willingness level to develop all soft skills. Yet, the findings especially call attention to the elevated need of students to develop their stress management skills. It was also seen that students’ willingness to develop their skills varied by faculty type.