One of Singapore's emerging areas of policy concern is the gainful employment of the fresh graduate. This is because there are a lot of unemployed graduates in Singapore. And why are they unemployed? Well, the answer to this question will explain multiple factors that often affect these fresh graduates, with the lack of problem-solving skills being one of these factors. It is important to note that these factors arise because most of these graduates were living sheltered lives and after their graduation, they start facing real life problems which they are not fully prepared to face. Therefore, we are tempted to investigate what causes some of these factors affecting them and most importantly talk about the lack of problem-solving skills in these graduates.
What Is the Correlation Between Problem Solving Skills and Communication?
Fresh graduates tend to be poor at problem-solving since most of them lack good communication skills. They do not have effective speaking, writing and critical thinking techniques which are crucial for daily life and business operations. English and other universal languages proficiency levels among fresh graduates in Singapore remain an issue of concern. In fact, it is estimated that poor command of these languages is among the key reasons behind fresh graduate unemployment in Singapore, which emphasize the importance of problem solving skills for students. This is because these languages are used in many business and social communications and more employers are taking into account the significance of hiring graduates who have a good grasp of these languages. Therefore, it is crucial to realize that most fresh graduates have issues with problem-solving approaches since they have poor communication skills when problem solving.
Social Skills and Interpersonal Problem-Solving
Also, display of poor work attitudes among these graduates contributes to their lack of problem solving skills. This is because while on campus, these graduates were used to their close circles of friends and now after their graduation, they are introduced to different people with different personalities. At this point, they realize that the nature of the relationship they have with these new people is different from the nature of the relationship they had with their friends in school and consequently their attitude towards the new colleagues change. Most of the universities in Singapore have not introduced programs which help students improve their interpersonal skills. Therefore most students graduate without knowing how to relate to other people.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
It is also important to note that lack of critical thinking among these graduates contributes to their inability to solve problems. According to Kasemsap (2012), critical thinking is the ability to solve pressing problems often in multi-tasking conditions and priority difficulties. It is that act whereby people don't have to wait to be told what to do. Fresh graduates are used to the guidance and the directives of their lectures and the whole university system. So when they finish their studies, they do not have the initiative to do different things on their own. For instance in work related situations, due to lack of experience and critical thinking skills, fresh graduates would rarely solve problems at hand (Kasemsap, 2012).
How to Develop Problem Solving Skills in Students
I believe the best way to improve problem solving skills of students is to ensure that there are proper mechanisms in the universities which make internship programs mandatory. Through this, students can be able to learn good communication skills and critical thinking techniques which they will seriously need after graduation. Also, industry players should work with the universities to facilitate student sponsorship programs to ensure that students maintain a point of contact with the professionals in various fields and consequently learn from them.
In conclusion, problem-solving skills are essential for people to peacefully coexist together since we all face a lot of hurdles on a regular basis. It will be magnificent if people will have the ability to solve difficulties appropriately and promptly without difficulty. With high levels of problem-solving skills fresh graduates will have the techniques of approaching different life problems effectively.
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Kasemsap, K. (2012). Advocating Problem-Based Learning and Creative Problem-Solving Skills in Global Education. Handbook of Research on Creative Problem-Solving Skill Development in Higher Education, 351-377. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-0643-0.ch016.
Problem solving in technology-rich environments and the Survey of Adult Skills. (2015). Adults, Computers and Problem Solving OECD Skills Studies, 21-28. doi:10.1787/9789264236844-5-en.
Using Skills to Solve Conflict. (n.d.). Crucial skills: An anger management and problem solving teaching programme for high school students, 65-74. doi:10.4135/9781446252109.
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