Enhance Development Students
A Personal Development Tool to Enhance Development for Students & Newly Qualified Professionals Enhance Development Students
Name: Mohamad Farhat b. Ab Khapwor
Student ID : GS45745
Supervisor : Dr. Salfarina Binti Abdullah
Over the years, it is known that the workforce has evolved to become a very demanding environment especially in todays’ state of economy. The fact that Malaysia’s population has surpassed the 3 million mark makes securing a job a very competitive task. Malaysia’s current unemployment rate is 2.7 per cent as of August 2014 and nearly half of it consists of our youth, which most of them are fresh graduates. Talent is cited as one of the top business challenges and a recent survey conducted by global consultancy Grant Thornton finds 62 per cent of Malaysian firms have difficulty finding skilled workers, and 48 per cent identify lack of talent as a constraint for future growth.
The goal of this application is to help users understand clearly the importance of proper work ethics and how it helps them move forward. Besides that, users will the able to monitor their personal development in aspects that are deemed important on a job such as information processing, team building as well as decision making.
Over the years, it is known that the workforce has evolved to become a very demanding environment especially in today’ state of economy. The fact that Malaysia’s population has surpassed the 3 million mark makes securing a job a very competitive task. Malaysia’s current unemployment rate is 3.4 percent as of February 2016 and nearly half of it consists of our youth, which most of them are fresh graduates. Talent is cited as one of the top business challenges and a recent survey conducted by global consultancy Grant Thornton finds 62 percent of Malaysian firms have difficulty finding skilled workers, and 48 percent identify lack of talent as a constraint for future growth.
Listed below are the most common traits employers are looking for when recruiting new employees.
- The ability to work in a team
- The ability to make decisions and solve problems
- The ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
- The ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside anorganization
- The ability to obtain and process information.
It seems that most undesirable candidates lack these traits that are also crucial in securing a job. Due to the fact that most people spend most of their time on their smartphones and laptops/desktops, this project plans to utilize that fact by cultivating good and professional work attitude for its’ users. This web app will determine users’ strengths and weaknesses and they will be shown on their respective profile. Users can brush up and improve their abilities by undergoing test and problems that can be solved individually or as a team. Users progress throughout the duration of use will be recorded a means for them to gauge their level of improvement.
The goal of this app is to help users understand clearly the importance of proper work ethics and how it helps them move forward. Besides that, users will the able to monitor their personal development in aspects that are deemed important on a job such as information processing, team building as well as decision making.
2. Problem Statement
People think that it’s solely good results and language skills that can help you get hired but there’s more to that. Securing a job can be a very tough and scary process for those who lack experience and the understanding of what it means to be part of a workforce. Sadly, most fresh graduates are not prepared and end up doing badly in interviews. It has been stated that most unsuccessful job applicants lack the skills in the required aspects of critical thinking, general knowledge, leadership and ethics.
This app intends to help users brush up on the essential skills that could potentially help them excel in a demanding work environment, as well as getting through the very competitive recruiting phase. The exercises available in this app will also help users improve their critical thinking and team building by interacting with other users to solve problems. The app will also provide the users with an insight on professional work ethics and standards practiced by corporate entities.
3. Objectives& Scope
- To design a web application that can help users pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses in soft skills
- To help users connect with other users to exchange ideas and tips on improving their soft skills
- To prepare and equip users with knowledge & skills on how to ace a job interview particularly for fresh graduates with zero experience.
This app is intended for Malaysian university students and fresh graduates, specifically for UPM final year students. Developed on the Windows platform, this app will be in English. It will focus on helping users realize their abilities that are considered essential for every employee.
4. Literature Review
This part of the document will be divided into several parts starting with evidence from several sources indicating as to why fresh graduates perform badly at an interview. Next part is to assess the current assessment tool on the web and finally is to compare the tools found with the intended assessment tool.
In this challenging world, competition is everywhere. Individual works hard to equip themselves with knowledge and skills to avoid being left far behind and survive. Obtaining a degree from institute of higher education in local or overseas has become necessary in order to get a good job with nice salary. However, a quite alarming issue is a high unemployment rate among graduate in this country. Among the factors that cause unemployment among graduates are lacks of soft skills, high employers’ expectation, mismatching and the fluctuation of economy in the country.
According to a recent JobStreet.com survey, fresh graduates have some catching up to do as employers are not too happy about their quality levels. A significant 70% of respondents said that the standards of fresh graduates were just average, while 24% believed that they were bad and only 6% said they were good. The poor ratings were not generally linked to their academic qualifications, but rather their poor attitudes and communication skills shown during interviews or at work.
The employers were asked why it was hard for fresh graduates to get hired, the top cited reason by 68% of respondents was, fresh graduates ask for unrealistic salaries and benefits. A previous JobStreet.com survey disclosed that 60% of fresh graduates expect a salary of RM3, 500 for their first job while 30% want to be paid as high as RM6, 500 in order to live comfortably. However, the average salary offered to fresh graduates is only between RM2,100 to RM2,500.
Reflecting on the English proficiency levels in Malaysia that continues to be of concern, 64% of the respondents said that a poor command of English was the second reason behind fresh graduate unemployment. Being the main language for business communications, more and more employers are taking into account the importance of hiring candidates who have a good grasp of English.
The third contributing factor to fresh graduate unemployment was being too choosy about the job or company at 60%, followed by poor communication skills and demonstrating poor character during the interview. “Fresh graduates should do some research on sites such as JobStreet.com to better understand the expectations, requirements and salary levels offered by employers to prepare themselves for their interviews”, said Ms. Chook YuhYng, Country Manager of Jobstreet.com.
On the other hand, despite years of studying in the English medium, some participants of the 1 Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) find it inadequate in preparing them for the real world.MsZatiAqmarZahari, 28, said she struggled to introduce herself in English at job interviews.The UniversitiTeknologi Malaysia (UTM) graduate told The Malaysian Insider that at one point, she attended about 10 job interviews, yet none of the companies got back to her.
“Most interviews are carried out in English, and when they asked me to introduce myself, I found it very difficult to do so because I think in Bahasa, so I take time to translate my thoughts into English,” she said at a recent gathering of SL1M participants with the prime minister.Ms. Zati, who majored in Computer Sciences, said while her studies were conducted in English, students were not taught how to prepare for job interviews.“My self-confidence and communications were really low, because at the time of the interview I had just graduated and had no idea what employers were looking for”.
Zati enrolled in SL1M, a programme organized by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister’s Department that teaches soft skills.The programme places graduates in participating government-linked companies (GLC) and private firms where they develop language and communication skills.SL1M general secretariat MsNorashikin Datuk Ismail told The Malaysian Insider that the programme, launched in June 2011, was targeted at unemployed graduates, particularly those from low income families or rural areas, with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Ms Norashikin said since its launch, 70,000 graduates have succeeded in securing jobs after going through the programmer. She declined, however, to comment on the failure rate when asked, saying such cases were few.
Enhance Development Students
Why online assessment? Online assessment sometimes known as e-assessment, computer based assessment are specific types of assessments including multiple choice, online/electronic submission, computerized adaptive testing and computerized classification testing. Different types of online assessments contain elements of one or more of the following components, depending on the assessment’s purpose: formative, diagnostic, or summative. Instant and detailed feedback may (or may not) be enabled. There are several benefits of using an online assessment tool to evaluate the users work or progress. Firstly, online assessments are highly interactive, customization, trustworthy, and secured. Besides that, it is a great solution for users with busy schedules. Users can take the assessment anywhere anytime they want instead of attending to a venue with specific date and time to take the assessment. Secondly, online assessments are typically flexible assessment models, with multiple choice questions based on various parameters providing instant feedback to the users. This is important because users would want to track and monitor their progress as they complete the assessment so that they’ll know how well they did in that particular assessment. Finally, the comfort of remote access to learning resources and doing it in one’s own space will boost their confidence and morale in taking the assessment without having to worry about the surrounding factors such as venue, time, people nearby, etc.
In an article published in 2013 by University of Greenwich titled “Student collaboration in developing an online self-assessment tool, to enhance development for student and newly qualified professionals.” there’s a clear evidence as to why an online assessment tool is crucial in helping students and newly qualified professionals enhance their abilities and skills. This article however, is a case study which describes the methods used to develop an existing research tool into an easily accessible self-assessment tool for developing or recently qualified professionals within health care and social care. But the focus of this article is within the domain of health care and social care but the fundamentals are some sort similar to PCRA.
The aim of this project was to create a tool where the software was as simple and practical as possible. Having been given this brief, CiPA (Competence in Practice) was developed as an online application that allows the person to assess how competent or ready they are for practice/placement/work. Through taking the test, the user answers a series of questions selecting either ‘not applicable’ or 0 to 4 on a likert scale. Once completed the assessment runs some calculations to generate a feedback report to help build on competence for practice/placement/work. It is this feedback that was developed through the student collaboration.
CiPA is very specific in terms of its target audience and the objective in which they wish to achieve, PDA on the other hand is a comprehensive tool which can be utilized by users from different backgrounds, not specific to one or two particular domain. The idea for both these tool is rather similar, its comes down to how should you exploit technology at its best to create something just from an idea to a tool which can directly have an impact on the society.
Enhance Development Students
After extensive research on the web, there isn’t any specific assessment tool which focuses on improving the skills needed for a fresh graduate to prepare them for an interview, especially tools catered for students in Malaysia. However, they are several tools available on the web such as biginterview.com and interviewstream.com. Big Interview is a comprehensive online tool comprises of two main features whichis fast track and mastery track. Fast track is a series of short 5-10 minutes’ lessons designed to get you prepared quick. Fast track consists of 15 modules starting from interview best practices, type of interviews, type of interviewers up to salary questions. On the other hand, is ‘Mastery Track’. Mastery track is a feature which provides in-depth lessons to cover all aspects of even the toughest interview. Each module takes a longer time to complete as compared to the modules in ‘Fast Track’. The downside of this tool is that it costs a staggering $79/month which is costly if it was to be used by students who is our target audiencefor this topic.
Next tool is Interview Stream, a site with three main features. First, ‘Interview Prep’ a feature to prepare students with mock interviewing. Second, ‘Interview Hire’ a function to build a team from the start with video interviewing. Finally, ‘Interview Train’ a feature which provides video training to the users. All these features are heavily based on video streaming which has its pros and cons respectively. For the pros, it gives you the actual feeling of how an interview is conducted and for the cons, not everyone is comfortable recording themselves online. It all depends on the preference of the user. To be able to use this tool, a request has to be made by filling up a form before it is submitted. Upon approval, user will receive a demo link on how to use the tool. This tool however comes with a cost which varies according to the preferences requested by the users. The tools identified is not design to cater for specific countries in terms of interview standard practice. It is design to be used by the masses especially to those in the United States. The idea of PDT is to be utilized by Malaysians, students and fresh graduates in particular. The comparison between tools can be seen in the figure below.
Despite limited evidence to support the idea of this tool to be developed besides statistics shown, the PDA is definitely needed for students and newly qualified professionals. Employers every now and then are complaining at the lack of confidence, poor language skills, general knowledge and ethics possessed by fresh graduates and even newly qualified professionals. PDA will serve as a tool to the users to enhance the abilities and skills in order to survive in these competitive corporate world.
|Big Interview||Interview Stream||PDT|
|2. Type of Interview||Video||Video||Questionnaire|
Table 1: Comparison of Tools
The methodology used to carry out this project involves few stages and processes as explained below:
The very first step of this project is observation. Observation is a phase where we observe the current problem which we are planning on solving. From a thorough observation, we can deduce a solution out of it and work our way onto the next stages.
- Literature Review
Literature review is crucial in every study. It supports the idea and originality of your study/project. From the observation and information gathered in the first stage, literature review can then be conducted based on the information found to verify the previous and related works. The review is then described, summarized, evaluated and clarified. However, it does not end there. Literature review is a continuous process throughout the study, this is to ensure that the study does not miss out on any latest information or work related to the study.
- Project Proposal
A project proposal is a detailed description of a series of activities aimed at solving a particular problem. The complete proposal will be presented at the end of the semester.
- Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The methodology identified as the most suitable method for this project is the Waterfall model.  This is because; the Waterfall Model is a sequential design process, which is very typical for software development process. In other words, the progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards, which resembles the waterfall itself. It is very simple to understand and use. The development of the system for this project begins with requirement analysis. When requirement analysis is done, project planning begins which will confer about how the system will be built. Next, the design phase begins and decides on how the system will operate in terms of software and hardware. Later, coding starts after the design phase is completed and the code is integrated and tested out. Once testing is completed, the system is installed. Finally, regular operation and maintenance of the system takes place. Figure 2.4 exhibits the steps involved in the waterfall model.
- Requirements Gathering Technique
The elicitation technique that will be used to gather data for the development of the PDT is survey. The reason survey was chose to gather data is because a survey is usually used to reach a large number of potential stakeholders and respondents, a survey is also an excellent tool to gather a significant amount of focus data in a short period of time. Moreover, this technique will show an approximate result that one is looking for which is, agreeable or disagreeable to a subject.
- Prototype Development
In this stage, the actual prototype is design, develop, and tested based on the requirements gathered and finalized in the earlier stages.
In this stage, the system is tested several times based on the test case constructed. Besides that, Verification and Validation will also be carried out to ensure the system meets its specifications. Once the testing is completed, the system is then ready to be deployed and used by the target audience.
- Final Report
The final phase, where the entire activities and process involved in this project is documented and compile into the final report. This final report is then to be presented and submitted at the end of the semester.
6. Expected Result
The expected result of this study should solve the problems faced by fresh graduates prior to an interview by taking the relevant assessments on the system (PDT). The expected result is as below:
- A fully functional and working system (personal development tool).
- Users will get a clear understanding on proper formal work ethics and protocol. This will make them more presentable and professional when they are going for an interview.
- Users will be more prepared and confident when joining the workforce because they have prepared for what is expected of them when they are employed.
- . Project Schedule
|No||Activities||2nd Semester 2016/2017||1st Semester 2017/2018|
|3||Prepare Research Proposal|
|8||Data Interpretation and Analysis|
|9||Preparing Final Report|
|1||Reviewed of PDT|
|4||Research Proposal Slide|
|8||Result of Analysis|
|9||Final Report Document|
|10||Final Report Slides|
This document concludes the first part of the project. The objective, problem statement, scope and several other important activities were clearly identified and will serve as a guide when stage 2 commences in the next semester. Stage 2 includes the actual development and implementation of the application. The application will undergo a series of testing to ensure it works as specified in stage 1.
All and all, users will get a clear understanding on proper formal work ethics and protocol. This will make them more presentable and professional when conducting their day to day work routine. Users will be more prepared and confident when joining the workforce because they have prepared for what is expected of them when they are employed. They would also be more prepared and confident when they encounter problems. Overall, a talented and productive workforce will be good for substantial growth of the economy.