Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1990

Article in Press

Development and Validation of Employability Soft Skills Measure for Education Students in Nigeria


  •  Received: 09 March 2016
  •  Accepted: 18 May 2016
This study developed and established factor structure of an employability soft skills measure of undergraduate education students at the University of Jos, Nigeria. The study was motivated by increasing concern for lack of employability skills by Nigerian graduates and dearth of diagnostic instruments. It was an instrumentation research designed to answer two research questions on factor structure and reliability of the instrument. The sample consisted of 302 final year education students (173 male; 129 female) drawn randomly from a population of 750 students in the Faculty of Education in 2013/2014 academic session. An Employability Soft Skills Measure (ESSM) was developed and validated for data collection. Factorial validity was sought using exploratory factor analysis method, while the reliability of ESSM and its sub-scales were established using Cronbach alpha method. The data collected passed the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test for adequacy of sample and Bartlett’s test of sphericity for suitability of data for factor analysis. The Kaiser’s rule (eigenvalue ≥ 1) and scree plot were adopted for extraction of factors. Four factors extracted for the instrument were labeled based on the description of items that loaded on them. The reliability coefficient of the ESSM was 0.85, while those of its subscales were 0.93, 0.89, 0.83 and 0.74 for cultural competence and professional ethics; personal, interpersonal and self-management; career self-management; ICT and problem solving sub-scales, respectively. These findings revealed that the ESSM is valid and reliable and can be used as a tool for assessing employability soft skills of education students.

Keywords: development, validation, employability soft skills, factor structure, students