Abstract. This study aims to explore the 21st-century competencies and skills of university graduates from the perspectives of sector representatives and academicians. The study group consists of 10 participants, 5 (4 male, 1 female) academician and 5 (3 male, 2 female) managers in the Human Resources departments. Data were collected through in-depth interviews. Inductive content analysis method was used to analyze the data. The results of the analysis show that the qualifications of graduates and the features required by the sectors can be grouped under one theme and four sub-themes. According to the results, the theme of competence emerges as a single theme covering the sub-themes of knowledge, skill, personality traits, and vocational identity. Findings show that students' early experiences with which they can interact with sectors relevant to their fields are important. The results are discussed in light of the relevant literature and some suggestions are given.
Keywords: Skills, competencies, higher education, industry, university, university graduate