Enhancing Employability of Management Graduates of State Universities in Sri Lanka: An Examination of Job Market Requirements


  • R. Lalitha S. Fernando University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • H. D. M. Kaushalya Geethamali National Education Commission, Sri Lanka
  • E. Achini Indrachapa Kularathna University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka




Higher education helps in enhancing the human resources required for development. Universities and higher education institutes play a vital role in disseminating and creating knowledge through teaching and research, contributing to the development of any country. The quality and relevance of the output (graduates) of higher education institutes need to be enhanced to increase graduates’ employability. Graduate unemployment has become a significant problem in Sri Lanka. If graduates are unemployed, this will directly and negatively influence economic development. The main objectives of this study are to identify job market requirements of the industry and factors affecting the success of the graduates’ interviews. This study used qualitative research methods as a mono method.  Data were collected using advertisements from two selected leading English and Sinhala weekend newspapers published from October 2019 to January 2020, and in-depth interviews were conducted with selected Human Resource managers. Newspaper analysis and job market requirement analysis were done using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Five core skills were identified as the job market requirements, namely, problem-solving skills, communication skills, numeracy skills, computer skills, and interpersonal skills. Leadership qualities, communication and presentation ability, teamwork, interpersonal relations, practical knowledge, positive attitudes, hardworking characteristics, well-preparedness at the interview, and a clear understanding of the graduate's career path mainly affect the graduate interview's success. The study proposes policy measures to improve the employability of management graduates of state universities in Sri Lanka.

 Keywords: Employability, Management Graduates, State Universities, job market requirements, Sri Lanka