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The importance of horizontal fit of university student jobs for future job quality

Beatrice I.J.M. Van der Heijden (Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) (Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands) (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium) (Kingston University, London, UK) (Hubei University, Wuhan, China)
Pascale M. Le Blanc (Human Performance Management Group, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands) (Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)
Ana Hernandez (IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Vicente Gonzalez-Roma (IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Jesus Yeves (School of Psychology, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Santiago, Chile)
Juan P. Gamboa (Department of Social Psychology, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 29 July 2019

Issue publication date: 29 July 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the antecedents of the quality of graduates’ jobs when they enter the job market after university graduation.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data collected from 173 Spanish bachelor and master’s degree university graduates at two time points (two months before and six months after graduation, approximately) were analyzed by means of path analysis.

Findings

A moderated mediation model was tested, where the relationship between the horizontal fit (HF) between the university degree subject and the student’s job and the quality of the graduate’s job after graduation is mediated by self-perceived employability and moderated by the time devoted to a student job. Results showed that the relationship between HF and job quality was partially mediated by self-perceived employability. However, contrary to the proposed hypothesis, this relationship did not depend on the time devoted to a student job.

Originality/value

This study contributes to improving the understanding about how and why university students’ work experience is related to the quality of their jobs as fresh graduates.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Spanish Research Agency (PSI2013-47195-R).

Citation

I.J.M. Van der Heijden, B., Le Blanc, P.M., Hernandez, A., Gonzalez-Roma, V., Yeves, J. and Gamboa, J.P. (2019), "The importance of horizontal fit of university student jobs for future job quality", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 239-256. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-12-2018-0330

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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