Abstract

To further probe the alignment (or misalignment) of university and industry priorities in terms of English language skills development of future accountants, this study extends the earlier investigation of employers' perception on the communication skills needed by entry-level accountants. Using conjoint analysis, this research examines the outlook of 302 graduating accounting students on the communication skills that they consider relevant to their target career. The respondents answered a researcher-made questionnaire by ranking 16 skills set in the order of their perceived importance for employment in audit firms. Results show that accounting majors perceive interview skills to be the most important communication skill related to employability, followed by reading and communication technology. Such views are relatively consistent with employers' perspectives. However, writing and listening are ranked lower by the students than employers. Analysis of gender variance further shows that female students give higher importance to reading than their male counterpart.

Keywords
Communication Skills, Accounting Education, English for Accountants, Student Perspective, Conjoint Analysis.

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