An Investigation of University Graduates Employability: A Case of Mechanical Engineering Students from Two Tertiary Institutions in Zimbabwe

  • Moses Chundu University of Zimbabwe
  • Rumbidzai Ndavambi Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA)
  • Elizabeth Mamukwa Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA)

Abstract

The study examines the employability of mechanical engineering students from tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. Mixed method research methodologies were used with primary data collected using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires from members of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), mechanical engineering lecturers and graduates from University of Zimbabwe and Harare Institute of Technology. The study found practical exposure regarding industrial machines, communication skills, teamwork, language skills, problem solving skills, use of equipment and information technology to be key skills and aptitudes that could enhance employability of mechanical engineering graduates. The study explored the curriculum content of both institutions and concludes that the curriculum design and content is sufficient for ensuring the employability of mechanical engineering graduates although there is limited exposure to industrial work. The results show that the current curriculum content enables the employability of mechanical engineering graduates although employers from CZI, to a lesser extent, had a feeling that the graduates are less suited and prepared for the real world of work. However, the lectures from institutions under study felt their curricula were modified to suit the needs of the employers. Recommendations from the study include further modifying the mechanical engineering curriculum to suit the employers’ needs in consultation with employer organisations like CZI. The duration for internship programme could be made mandatory with the duration increased from a year to two years in order to increase practical exposure.

Author Biographies

Moses Chundu, University of Zimbabwe

Lecturer, Department of Economics and Development, Faculty of Business Management Sciences and Economics

Rumbidzai Ndavambi , Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA)

Lecturer, Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA) – an Affiliate College of The National University of Science and Technology

Elizabeth Mamukwa, Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA)

Lecturer, Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA) – an Affiliate College of The National University of Science and Technology

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eISSN: 1013-3445