HIGHER EDUCATION IN PUERTO RICO AND ITS RELATION TO THE LABOR MARKET NEEDS

JRE PEREZ-LLOVERAS, Fordham University

Abstract

This study compares the responses of human resources directors from the governmental, manufacturing industry, and bank sectors of the Hato Rey Section of the San Juan Metropolitan Area in Puerto Rico regarding to their opinions of the extent to which the curriculum of higher education institutions is responding to the labor market needs; the opportunities of college graduates for getting a job; and the job performance of college graduates.^ The study consisted of 60 human resources directors. Twenty subjects were selected from each of the identified working sectors. The research instrument developed for this study was the Higher Education in Puerto Rico and Its Relation to the Labor Market Needs Questionnaire and Data Sheet.^ The major findings and conclusions from this study were: (1) The distribution of mean scores for the combined groups of participants indicated that respondents clustered in the high agreement range. The participants agreed that higher education institutions' degree programs in Puerto Rico are not focused toward employment needs, that universities are not maintaining a realistic balance between career opportunities in the labor market, and that college graduates need additional training to reach a measurable level of job performance. (2) There was congruence among the respondents with respect to the areas of curriculum, job opportunities, and job performance. (3) Business Administration was found to offer the highest job opportunities in the labor market, followed by Computer Sciences, and Public Administration. (4) The major scarcity of college graduates was in Computer Sciences, and in Vocational and Technical specialization. The most saturated fields of specialization were Law, Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences.^ Some of the major recommendations from this study included: (1) That curriculum in most fields of specialization should be revised to make it more relevant with the labor market needs; and officers from the labor market should be frequently consulted in the process of curricular revision. (2) That college students should be provided pertinent information about career opportunities or the limited extend of positions in the several academic programs. (3) That closer communication should exist between educational establishments and the labor market regarding job opportunities, job descriptions, job requirements, and job benefits.^ Some of the recommendations for future research were: (1) To seek the perceptions of the relation of higher education curriculum to the labor market needs by other significants and homogeneous participants working sectors. (2) To undertake additional research selecting other participant groups besides human resources directors. (3) To replicate this study on an Island-wide basis. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.) ^

Subject Area

Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

PEREZ-LLOVERAS, JRE, "HIGHER EDUCATION IN PUERTO RICO AND ITS RELATION TO THE LABOR MARKET NEEDS" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624500.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624500

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