The Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, has advised graduates of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to acquire what he described as 21st-century skills and core competencies in order to enhance their employability and career advancement.
“Currently, industries search for graduates who have more than a university degree,” he said. “They consider also life skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, collaboration, teamwork, communication, empathy, digital literacy, among others, as essential skills for effective individual performance.
“These life skills mentioned above and affirmed by UNESCO, underpin the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that aid in dealing effectively with the challenges of everyday life, particularly, work.”
Dr Sarpong gave the advice on Thursday, October 14, at the Fourth Session of the 13th Congregation ceremony of the University during which some 1,094 students graduated with various Degrees and Diplomas from the Faculty of Accounting and Finance.
The graduating students from the faculty formed part of the 2020/2021 cohort from which about 3,640 students have graduated this year.
Dr. Sarpong also charged graduands to upgrade their digital knowledge to remain relevant in the labour market.
“We are in an era of digitization where automation, artificial intelligence, and the use of software have dominated the delivery of accounting and financial services. Mundane and repetitive accounting and finance tasks are being replaced through artificial intelligence.
“You can only remain competitive in your labour market segment by continuously upgrading your digital knowledge,” he emphasised.
Commendation to Management
Dr. Sarpong commended UPSA for what he termed as an “explosion of modern and elegant infrastructure on campus, funded mostly through internally-generated funds.”
He further lauded the University for launching the UPSA Enterprise and Innovative Centre to provide an avenue to mainstream entrepreneurship education and training.
That initiative, he said, aimed at fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by unearthing, grooming, and supporting students to translate business ideas into viable businesses and urged other Universities to emulate such initiatives.
Charge to graduands
Dr Sarpong encouraged the graduates to set up their own firms to tap into the growing outsourced financial and business services sector.
“Be entrepreneurial, for your training here has given you what it takes to do that,” he stressed.
He further urged the graduates to imbibe the values that will help them succeed as professionals.
“I have been guided in my professional career by what I call my five (5) Hs. These are Honesty, Humility, Hard work, Human relation, and Humanity. I have lived with these values in my professional career, and I have not been disappointed.”