The quality of graduates from the Department of Operations and Quality Management at Durban University of Technology
This study examined the quality, employability and the competencies of graduates from the Department of Operations and Quality Management at Durban University of Technology (DUT). The objectives of the study included determining the relevance of the curriculum to the workplace; evaluating the views of graduates regarding employability; and assessing the views of organisations regarding graduate performance in the workplace. The study also proposes that with the knowledge and skills acquired in the field of Operations Management, graduates should be able to reach their full personal and professional potential. However, these graduates still experience difficulties in adjusting and coping with the realities of the labour market. Combinations of qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. The study was exploratory in nature. The study made use of questionnaires to obtain the respondent’s view. The pilot study composed a sample of ten graduates. For the main study, forty of the sixty graduates and employers completed and returned the questionnaires that were administered. The response rate was 67%. The Cronbach’s Alpha Reliability Analysis was used to measure the reliability of the questionnaires. Face validity was verified by the statistician for pre-administering of questionnaires. The results revealed that obtaining a qualification in operations management at DUT increases the employability of graduates. The study also showed that employers are content with the way in which these graduates are able to translate their theoretical knowledge into practice, and to identify and solve problems within organisations. However, the study shows that some employers did not provide adequate support and guidance in relation to their development.