Relevance of selected Social Science Degree programs on skills development and graduate employability in Zambia




social science degree programs, skills development, graduate employability, labour market, Zambia


A pragmatic approach was used to explore the extent to which four selected social science degree programs were relevant for the skill needs of the job market in Zambia. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 162 participants using interviews and questionnaires. The SPSS version 24 and Atlas. Ti Version 8 were used to analyse and interpret data within the framework of the Capability Approach. The findings reveal that the relevance of each of the four social science degree programs depend on how key stakeholders in higher education and the labour market perceive them and that graduate employability was affected by factors such as the need and importance of social sciences to the labour market; employer and student perceptions of employability skills in the degree programs; demand for the programs; graduate work readiness, and the availability of graduate job prospects. It could be concluded that although all four social science degree programs were important, their relevance to the needs of Zambia’s labour market varied from program to program.


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Author Biographies

Kapambwe Mwelwa, University of Zambia, Zambia

K. Mwelwa is a Lecturer in the School of Education, Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies at the University of Zambia. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of South Africa. His research interests include Skills Development and Graduate Employability, Educational Leadership and Management, and Higher Education financing among others.

Lazarus D.M. Lebeloane, University of South Africa, South Africa

Prof. L.D.M. Lebeloane has been at the University of South Africa since 1994. He’s a former Head of Department, School Director, Acting (Deputy) Dean and is Professor in the College of Education, Department of Science and Technology Education. His niche areas include Didactics, Environmental Education and Management, Educational Leadership and Management as well as Multicultural Education.

Ailwei S. Mawela, University of South Africa, South Africa

Prof. A.S. Mawela is a Senior Lecturer and a Curriculum Transformation Specialist at the University of South Africa since 2016.  His niche areas include Open Distance e-Learning, Assessment in Education, Environmental Education, and Open Education Resources.


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How to Cite

Mwelwa, K. ., Lebeloane, L. D. ., & Mawela, A. S. (2021). Relevance of selected Social Science Degree programs on skills development and graduate employability in Zambia. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 131–147.