Dr. Kwamena Minta Nyarku, Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast North, has challenged tertiary students to proactively equip themselves with the relevant skill sets to meet the evolving job market’s demands.
Academic excellence alone was insufficient to survive in any professional environment, he argued, because technology was advancing rapidly and global competition was intensifying continuously.
While acknowledging that a stellar academic record opens doors to opportunities, he insisted that it is no longer sufficient to rely solely on classroom-learned theory.
“Employers seek graduates with a variety of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, adaptability, and effective communication.
“These skills, when combined with academic excellence, create a powerful synergy that propels our students toward success in their chosen fields,” he explained.
Dr. Minta Nyarku delivered the remarks during Thursday’s 2023 School of Business Dean’s Award ceremony at the University of Cape Coast.
At this year’s ceremony with the theme “Academic Excellence and Skills Demand,” 279 students from levels 200 to 400 were recognized for attaining distinction in a variety of academic programs.
This indicates that 279 pupils, or 8.71 percent of the total enrollment of 3,204, achieved first class.
The Dean’s Award was established during the 2008-2009 academic year to annually recognize and reward students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.60 or higher.
The Dean’s special list of outstanding students is now a permanent part of the school’s electronic database and is used to monitor students’ development throughout their time on campus.
Dr. Nyarku, a former lecturer in the school’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, exhorted students to use their knowledge and abilities for the benefit of society.
“As you move forward in your academic and professional journeys, remember that true success lies not only in what you have learned but also in your ability to apply that knowledge and adapt to the changing world around you,” he added.
In addition to congratulating the award recipients, he praised the lecturers and parents for their contributions to the success of the students.
The Dean of the School of Business, Professor John Gatsi, also acknowledged that the digital economy of the 21st century required more than a high GPA to attract employers.
“It is now expected that our students possess digital literacy, data literacy, technical skills, interpersonal communication skills, critical thinking, adaptability and flexibility, cultural sustainability, and sensitivity to diversity,” he said.
The school sought to generate well-rounded, high-achieving kids.
He observed that Chief Executives and employers expected job candidates to be proficient in certain operational software and data analytic tools in addition to Microsoft Excel; therefore, educators must provide a platform for students to acquire these skills.
In light of this, Professor Gatsi stated that the school had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a few software providers, who had provided the school with licenses for three software to be installed on students’ and lecturers’ laptops, as well as office and library computers, in order to assist them in learning the software.
He urged all pupils to take advantage of every available opportunity to become proficient in this software.
Regarding the honors, he urged all members of the Faculty to increase their efforts to generate more high-achieving students for the school.
He added that efforts were being made to include postgraduate students in the ceremony.