Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


Research studies show that there is a skills gap in American society today. This research study examined employability perceptions of community college students at a rural community college in Mississippi. Students were asked to complete an online survey that questioned the degree of importance placed on several employability skills, as well as their self-perceived competence levels at performing those skills. Likert-scale response set type questions were used to provide responses on importance and competence levels. After sending the survey invitation, 100 usable surveys were returned and analyzed for this research study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney procedures, and Spearman Rho correlations. As an overall group students rated each of the employability skills as being important. Likewise, as a group, students indicated that they at least possessed all of the skills listed in the survey. The study found that no statistically significant difference existed between the two groups (academic and career technical) on skills perceived to be of greatest importance in today’s workplace. As it relates to competence levels, the study found that career technical students reported a higher competence level with two of the skills: problem solving and project management. Finally the study found that significant positive relationships existed between academic and career technical students regarding their competence at performing the skills and those employability skills perceived to be of greatest importance.



human capital||perceptions||community college||employability