Purpose – Employability is likely to be at the forefront of any degree applicant's mind in England and Wales due to an impending large increase in the cost of tuition. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a Centre for Education in the Built Environment‐funded project which has investigated real estate graduate competencies and employability. The paper concentrates on significant differences in emphasis by graduates from undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses. Design/methodology/approach – Following an extensive literature review, 72 competencies have been identified and the Confederation of British Industry classification of knowledge, skills and attributes has been adopted. An online survey of 639 graduates (half UG and half PG) asked respondents to complete five‐point Likert attitude scales to rate how their course enabled development of the 72 competencies. Themes developed from the results of the questionnaire study have been explored in greater detail with five real estate education providers and the human resource managers of four large London employers. Findings – Rather surprisingly, UGs rated their gaining of the vast majority of the competencies more highly than PGs. This finding seems to be at odds with the impression given by the educators and employers, both of whom perceive a preference for the greater maturity and commercial awareness of graduates from PG courses. Originality/value – Real estate course providers can use the results of this study to ensure that their programmes of study adequately address what is likely to become the crucial factor in the choice of any future programme of study – employability.
Journal of European Real Estate Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 25, 2011
Keywords: United Kingdom; Universities; Undergraduates; Postgraduates; Real estate; Competencies; Employability