Exploring Destination Imagination Alumni Perceptions of 21st-Century Skills and Workforce Readiness


Rapid changes in technology and globalization have altered traditional demands on workplace competency requirements. This transition requires that graduates are proficient in a wider variety of 21st-century skills including creativity and innovation than in the past. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how Destination Imagination alumni perceived that 21st-century skills learned as part of academic extracurricular experiences informed their early career readiness. The study was grounded on the 3 constructs found in Rojewski and Hill’s career-technical and workforce education framework: work ethic skills, ability to be innovative, and career navigation. Using a basic qualitative methodology, I explored the perceptions of 11 Destination Imagination alumni through semi-structured interviews. Participants were sourced from a randomized global sample of early career employed adults, who had participated on Destination Imagination teams for 3 or more years. The interview data were analyzed through two cycles of emergent coding based on the 3 constructs. The key finding was that alumni perceived their Destination Imagination experiences developed a wide variety of skills desired by employers and necessary for successful entry into the workforce. Participants recalled and described specific skills including teamwork, communication, innovation, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, initiative, decision-making, time management, emotional intelligence, and lifelong learning. The results of this study may offer insights into ways that administrators and educators might design enriched academic extracurricular activities intended to enhance much-needed 21st-century skills, thereby improving the performance expectation gap between graduates and employers.

Author Information
Sharon Kovalevsky, Walden University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Nurturing Creativity & Innovation: New

This paper is part of the IICE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Kovalevsky S. (2023) Exploring Destination Imagination Alumni Perceptions of 21st-Century Skills and Workforce Readiness ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2023.14
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2023.14

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon