Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Karen Kimball

Committee Member

Gary Reglin

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham


employability, soft skills, business school graduates, pandemic


This non-experimental descriptive quantitative applied dissertation was designed to identify and analyze the soft employability skills desired by mid-Atlantic employers of business school graduates in a post-pandemic environment. The study evaluated alignment of the competencies possessed by business school graduates and the desired skills of employers. The study explored opportunities to guide change in the development of learning outcomes for business school undergraduates that were influenced by the effects of COVID-19 to ensure adequate postgraduation placement and overall effectiveness of business school graduates.

Workplace readiness or employability also included identifying new hires who had the full package that included hard skills: technical skills that involved working with information, software, concepts, theories as well as soft skills that included critical thinking, problem solving, and intrapersonal skills.

The researcher gathered data from a diverse group of businesses on their perspectives for important skillsets required before and after the COVID-19 pandemic in order to gain data on what changes occurred in requiring specific skillsets based on the Employability Skills Framework Employer Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using statistical significance using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) application to develop summary descriptive analysis of the population and inferential data analysis to draw conclusions about the employability skills desired by employers of business school graduates.

College and university personnel, as well as businesses benefitted from the findings of this study by deepening their understanding of the diverse soft skills needs of employers of business school graduates in the region. Businesses and institutions of higher education were able to make data-informed decisions in designing curricula and cocurricular experiences for their respective students.