Postprint version. Published in Volume 37, Issue 2, June 12, 1989, pages 303-317. Copyright © 1989 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. Published by Blackwell Publishing Group. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7976.1989.tb03354.x.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Wayne H. Howard was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Perspectives from business and academia on the relative importance of various skills and attributes were compared. The perspective from academia came from the University of Guelph learning objectives and the AEB simple and complex skills required for undergraduate majors. A survey of Canadian agribusiness firms, including governmental agencies, provided the business perspective. Different types and sizes of businesses were consistent in ranking the relative importance of the various skills and attributes. The rankings by business were also consistent with the hierachial learning objectives from the University of Guelph and the disciplinary skills from the AEB. The hypothesis that business and academia are more convergent than divergent as to what our students should know is supported by these results.
Both business and academia rank communication skills highly. Business ranks personal qualities slightly higher than communication skills, but universities recognize that they can only screen for personal qualities, as opposed to the skills that they can enhance through education. Relatively low rankings of technical, computer and quantitative skills and experience should not be interpreted to mean they are unimportant, but rather that they are necessary but not sufficient for entry-level employees to succeed in agribusiness firms.
Agribusiness | Agricultural and Resource Economics | Business