Teaching

Animal industry survey: The importance of technical and soft skills, coursework, and extracurricular activities on the success of undergraduates entering animal industries

Authors
  • Jennifer Bundy (Iowa State University)
  • Katelyn Zeamer (Iowa State University)
  • Holly Evans (Iowa State University)
  • Jodi A. Sterle (Iowa State University)
  • Daniel U. Thomson (Iowa State University)

Abstract

A survey instrument was developed to inquire about the skills and experiences needed to be successful in an entry-level position within an animal industry. The instrument called upon industry representatives to rank the importance of skills, experiences, and coursework as they relate to success. A five-point scale was used for ranking (1=not important, 2=somewhat important, 3=moderately important, 4=very important, 5=extremely important). Industry representatives ranked personal and team-based soft skills as the most important skills related to success. Animal science coursework and hands-on animal handling and welfare experiences also ranked very high. Non-animal science coursework, agricultural business skills, collegiate experiences, and scientific/laboratory skills were ranked the lowest in terms of importance, but rankings of these categories still fell in the moderately important range. These rankings indicate the need for well-rounded students that have gained technical and personal skills throughout their collegiate education. This also signals a need for projects, writing assignments, and hands-on animal-related activities that promote development of soft skills within the animal science curriculum.

Keywords: technical skills, soft skills, coursework, extra-curricular activites

How to Cite:

Bundy, J., Zeamer, K., Evans, H., Sterle, J. A. & Thomson, D. U., (2021) “Animal industry survey: The importance of technical and soft skills, coursework, and extracurricular activities on the success of undergraduates entering animal industries”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 18(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/air.13042

405 Views

230 Downloads

Published on
21 Dec 2021
Peer Reviewed
License
Public Domain