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Doing and being: future graduates, careers and Industry 4.0

David Starr-Glass (Department of Communications, University of New York in Prague, Czech Republic, and SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 2 October 2019

Issue publication date: 16 October 2019




The purpose of this conceptual study is to reflect on “career” and consider the ways in which its meaning and structure have changed and will continue to change during the era of Industry 4.0. It contends that career advice to students and soon-to-be graduates is an integral part of the educational process and that an understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by career should be initiated within academia.


The study is a critical reflection on the literature and the present author’s experience and practice in student career advisement, particularly in the management and business sectors. The methodology used is essentially phenomenological, and the central approach is to make sense of the changing construct of career and the ways in which those changes impact relevant stakeholders. The work is not empirically based and may well have limited generalizability. Nevertheless, it is hoped that it will be of particular interest, value and relevancy to students, graduates and those engaged in career-related issues.


This study contends that the ongoing evolution of career is best understood as a shift from a progressive sequences of “doing” towards a more expansive and meaningful narrative of “being” and becoming. Recognition of this shift, especially for those studying business-centered subjects, will provide graduates with a better map and direction as they embark on their career trajectories.


Graduation success is critically important for individuals, educational institutions and society at large. A fundamental aspect of perceived success, particularly for business school graduates, is the ability to develop a rewarding career trajectory. This study offers original perspectives on career and presents suggestions that may be of value to those who are about to graduate, to their educational institutions and to those who will deal with them in their work and professional futures.



Starr-Glass, D. (2019), "Doing and being: future graduates, careers and Industry 4.0", On the Horizon, Vol. 27 No. 3/4, pp. 145-152.



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