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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Denise Jackson and Ian Li

There are ongoing concerns regarding university degree credentials leading to graduate-level employment. Tracking graduate underemployment is complicated by inconsistent…

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Abstract

Purpose

There are ongoing concerns regarding university degree credentials leading to graduate-level employment. Tracking graduate underemployment is complicated by inconsistent measures and tendencies to report on outcomes soon after graduation. Our study explored transition into graduate-level work beyond the short-term, examining how determining factors change over time.

Design/methodology/approach

We considered time-based underemployment (graduates are working less hours than desired) and overqualification (skills in employment not matching education level/type) perspectives. We used a national data set for 41,671 graduates of Australian universities in 2016 and 2017, surveyed at four months and three years' post-graduation, to explore determining factors in the short and medium-term. Descriptive statistical techniques and binary logistic regression were used to address our research aims.

Findings

Graduates' medium-term employment states were generally positive with reduced unemployment and increased full-time job attainment. Importantly, most graduates that were initially underemployed transited to full-time work at three years post-graduation. However, around one-fifth of graduates were overqualified in the medium-term. While there was some evidence of the initially qualified transitioning to matched employment, supporting career mobility theory, over one-third remaining overqualified. Skills, personal characteristics and degree-related factors each influenced initial overqualification, while discipline was more important in the medium-term.

Originality/value

Our study explores both time-based underemployment and overqualification, and over time, builds on earlier work. Given the longer-term, negative effects of mismatch on graduates' career and wellbeing, findings highlight the need for career learning strategies to manage underemployment and consideration of future labour market policy for tertiary graduates.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Luisa Rosti and Francesco Chelli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the gender impact of tertiary education on the probability of entering and remaining in self‐employment.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the gender impact of tertiary education on the probability of entering and remaining in self‐employment.

Design/methodology/approach

A data set on labour market flows produced by the Italian National Statistical Office is exploited by interviewing about 62,000 graduate and non‐graduate individuals in transition between five labour market states: dependent workers; self‐employed workers; unemployed persons; and non‐active persons. From these data, an average ten‐year transition matrix (1993‐2003) is constructed and the flows between labour market conditions by applying Markovian analysis are investigated.

Findings

The data show that education significantly increases the probability of entering self‐employment for both male and female graduates, but it also significantly increases the transition from self‐employment to dependent employment for female graduates, thereby increasing the percentage of female graduates in paid employment and reducing the percentage of women in entrepreneurial activities. It is argued that the disappointment provoked by the gender wage gap in paid employment may induce some female graduates with low‐entrepreneurial ability to set‐up on their own, but once in self‐employment they have lower survival rates than both men in self‐employment and women in paid employment. Thus, what is observed overall is that education widens the gender gap between self‐employed workers and employees for individuals persisting in the same working condition.

Originality/value

The data are enabled to shift the focus of the relationship between education and entrepreneurship from the probability of being self‐employed to the probability of entering and surviving in this condition.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 51 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Fedor Dudyrev, Olga Romanova and Pavel Travkin

The paradigm of school-to-work transition is changing, with an increasing number of students combining work and study. Furthermore, there exists some mixed evidence for…

Abstract

Purpose

The paradigm of school-to-work transition is changing, with an increasing number of students combining work and study. Furthermore, there exists some mixed evidence for the impact of student employment on future earnings and employment likelihood. The purpose of the present paper is to examine additional evidence that would shed light on the pros and cons of student work as a function of its type (i.e. whether or not it matches the student's field of study). We also discuss practical implications for specialists who facilitate the transition of graduates to the job market.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study based on the National Statistical Survey of Graduate Employment (SGE) conducted by the Russian Federal State Statistic Service (Rosstat) in 2016. Statistical methods of data analysis were used (logistic regression, Mincer equations). The analysis is based on two dependent variables as follows: data on graduates' employment and their monthly earnings.

Findings

We show that student work is a predictor of higher employment chances for both university and vocational college graduates. Moreover, the highest employment chances are associated with student work that is well-matched to the field of study. As for earnings, the greatest returns are again associated with work related to education. Jobs unrelated to education significantly correlate with earnings only for university graduates.

Research limitations/implications

An important limitation of the present research is that it estimates the effects of student employment over a rather short-term period by using data on employment just after graduation and only starting salaries. These findings evoke the need for further study of graduate competencies and the process of their acquisition.

Practical implications

Our findings suggest some directions for education development. The results can be used to analyze governmental and other stakeholders' initiatives in the field of vocational and higher education.

Social implications

The research results can be used by a wide range of stakeholders interested in the employment of graduates as a source of data for designing measures for improving graduates' employability.

Originality/value

Our study obtained data on the impact of student work on later employment. Tertiary graduates get returns from all work experience, while VET graduates earn more only if their student employment was consistent with their field of study.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Tracy Scurry and John Blenkinsopp

The purpose of this paper is to offer a systematic review of the literature that explores under‐employment among recent graduates. Literature from a range of disciplines…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a systematic review of the literature that explores under‐employment among recent graduates. Literature from a range of disciplines is reviewed in an attempt to further a theoretical understanding. In doing this, the secondary aim is to identify avenues for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a systematic literature review methodology to answer the question “What is graduate underemployment?”

Findings

The review highlights significant issues around the conceptualisation and measurement of graduate under‐employment. It argues that individual volition and meaning making are important issues that to date remain under‐researched in relation to graduate under‐employment. The paper argues that the most appropriate basis for developing a theoretical understanding of graduate under‐employment is to draw upon relevant theoretical frameworks from career studies – specifically those on the objective‐subjective duality of career, career indecision, and career success. This approach provides a greater focus on the dynamics of the individual's experiences.

Practical implications

This review has implications for a range of stakeholders including students, graduates, teachers and careers advisers, parents, universities, employers, HR professionals and policy makers.

Originality/value

In the context of policy debates surrounding the purpose and value of higher education, this review brings together the highly fragmented perspectives on a phenomenon that encapsulates many of the issues being debated.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Daša Farčnik and Polona Domadenik

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the school‐to‐work transition of graduates in different fields of study, as well as to study programmes in three subsequent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the school‐to‐work transition of graduates in different fields of study, as well as to study programmes in three subsequent generations of graduates in the 2007 to 2009 period. The paper focuses on graduates from the new Bologna‐harmonised programmes and investigates their early career outcomes by comparing them to those of graduates from pre‐harmonised programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply a probit regression to calculate differences in the probability of employment for different fields of study and propensity score matching to investigate the effect of different study programmes in each field of education on early career outcomes, such as being employed within the first three months of graduation and the first nine months of graduation.

Findings

The authors find that graduating from a particular field of study affects the probability of employment in all three years. In general, regardless of the field, the authors observe decreasing probabilities of employment in 2008 and 2009. Using propensity score matching, the authors estimate the effect of the new Bologna‐harmonised programmes on the probability of employment and find a statistically significant negative effect compared to counterparts who finished pre‐Bologna programmes. The findings are robust to the use of different matching criteria.

Practical implications

In the institutional framework of a tuition‐free system in higher education and collective bargaining in the labour market, performance indicators such as employability can provide relevant information regarding student choice and a proxy measure for the quality of higher education in each participating university. In addition, this provides a rare insight into the employability of graduates from Bologna‐harmonised programmes, as well as for a post‐transition country such as Slovenia.

Originality/value

By covering entire populations of full‐time graduates in 2007, 2008 and 2009 who entered the labour market for the first time after graduation, the authors calculate the probability of employment within the first three and nine months of graduation. This allows the authors to infer about the effect of the new Bologna‐harmonised programmes as well as the impact of the recent financial crisis. The paper offers rare evidence of the school‐to‐work transition in a post‐transition and tuition‐free country.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Joanna Poon

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive picture of characteristics affecting the employment outcomes and patterns for real estate graduates in Australia…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive picture of characteristics affecting the employment outcomes and patterns for real estate graduates in Australia. Furthermore, this paper benchmarks the characteristics affecting employment prospects of real estate graduates against those of built environment graduates.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in this paper were collected by the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS). Dimensionality reduction was used to prepare the dataset for the courses listed in the AGS data, in order to develop the simplified classifications of courses used to conduct the analysis in this paper. Dimensionality reduction was also used to prepare the dataset for the analysis of the employment outcomes and patterns for real estate and built environment graduates. Descriptive and statistical analysis methods were used to identify the difference in characteristics, such as gender, age, attendance type, mode of study, degree levels and English proficiency, for real estate and built environment graduates, the level of the influence of these characteristics on their employment outcomes and patterns and the statistical relationship between individual characteristics and employment outcomes as well as employment patterns of the graduates.

Findings

English proficiency was found to be an important factor for real estate and built environment graduates for securing employment and it has a statistically significant impact on the employment outcomes and patterns for the graduates. Despite the fact that age and attendance type have no statistical impact on employment outcomes for real estate and built environment graduates, they were found to have statistical significant impact on their employment patterns.

Originality/value

This is pioneering research which used official government data, such as AGS data, to provide a reliable and thorough picture of the employment outcomes and patterns for real estate and built environment graduates.

Details

Property Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Vassilis Kostoglou, Michael Vassilakopoulos and Christos Koilias

The purpose of this paper is to focus on a thorough comparison of the broader specialties and subspecialties provided by Greek higher technological education, regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on a thorough comparison of the broader specialties and subspecialties provided by Greek higher technological education, regarding the employment status and the vocational prospects of the corresponding graduates, and aims to identify and analyze the relevant existing differences.

Design/methodology/approach

Original empirical data were collected from 5,183 graduates of Technological Educational Institutes of higher education through a national survey using telephone interviews and a structured questionnaire. The stratified sample consisted of graduates originating from all nine different broader specialties (faculties) and 45 subspecialties (departments). Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis was used for the elaboration of the collected information.

Findings

The results showed that there are significant differences among the graduates of different specialties regarding some employment characteristics, such as professional status, type of employment, relevance between present work and Bachelor studies, and satisfaction from employment and wages. Additionally, the results identify distinguished clusters among certain broader specialties and subspecialties regarding graduatesemployment status and characteristics.

Practical implications

The revealed existence of strong relationships between broader specialties/subspecialties and their graduates’ vocational prospects can offer justified advice/guidelines to secondary education graduates for applying to specialties presenting promising employment prospects.

Originality/value

This work, being one of the very few nation‐wide studies, reveals and highlights the most important higher education specialties regarding the vocational status and prospects of the corresponding graduates, providing a guideline for the selection of the subject of studies that leads to a more promising career.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 55 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 June 2008

Brenda Little

The purpose of this article is to explore to what extent there are variations in the development of graduates once in employment; to what extent these variations can be…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore to what extent there are variations in the development of graduates once in employment; to what extent these variations can be explained by differences in the higher education systems; and what the current moves towards greater harmonisation between these systems might mean for graduates' continuing professional development in employment.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from the graduating cohort of 1999/2000 across 11 European countries, five years after graduation. The views of higher education providers and employers on graduates in the knowledge society were investigated in a smaller sub‐set of countries.

Findings

There are differences in the incidence and length of UK graduates' initial training in employment compared to all graduates which can be explained, in part, by the traditionally looser “fit” between higher education and employment in the UK (compared to many continental European countries). Five years after graduation, UK graduates enjoy similar levels of work‐related training as their European counterparts, although there are quite large differences between employment sectors.

Originality/value

This article looks into what extent harmonisation of higher education programmes (arising from the Bologna process) will affect the relationship between higher education and employment, and in particular the role played by higher education and by employers in graduates' initial professional formation and continuing development; it will be of interest to those in that field.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

Joanna Poon and Michael Brownlow

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gender has an impact on real estate and built environment graduatesemployment outcomes, employment patterns and other…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gender has an impact on real estate and built environment graduatesemployment outcomes, employment patterns and other important employment related issues, such as pay, role, contract type and employment opportunity in different states of a country.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in this paper has been collected from the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS). Data from the years 2010-2012 was combined into a single data set. Dimensionality reduction was used to prepare the data set for the courses listed in AGS data, in order to develop the simplified classifications for real estate and built environment courses which are used to conduct further analysis in this paper. Dimensionality reduction was also used to prepare data set for the further analysis of the employment outcomes and patterns for real estate graduates. Descriptive and statistical analysis methods were used to identify the impact of gender on the employment outcomes, employment patterns and other important employment related issues, such as pay, role, contract type and location of job, for real estate graduates in Australia. This paper also benchmarks the employment result of real estate graduates to built environment graduates.

Findings

Recent male built environment graduates in Australia are more likely to gain full-time employment than females. The dominant role for recent female built environment graduates in Australia is a secretarial or administrative role while for the male it is a professional or technical role. Male real estate and built environment graduates are more likely to have a higher level of salary. Gender also has an impact on the contract type. Male built environment graduates are more likely to be employed on a permanent contract. On the other hand, gender has no impact on gaining employment in different states, such as New South Wales and Queensland, in Australia. The finding of this paper reinforces the view of previous literature, which is that male graduates have a more favourable employment outcomes and on better employment terms. The finding also shows that graduate employment outcomes for real estate and built environment graduates in Australia are similar to that in other countries, such as the UK, where equivalent studies have been published.

Originality/value

This is pioneering research that investigates the impact of gender on employment outcomes, employment patterns and other employment related issues for real estate graduates and built environment graduates in Australia.

Details

Property Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Rick Holden and Stephanie Jameson

In the context of a somewhat turbulent graduate labour market, attention is being focused on the employment of graduates in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs)…

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Abstract

In the context of a somewhat turbulent graduate labour market, attention is being focused on the employment of graduates in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). This paper takes an initial “sounding” of our understanding about the transition of graduates into such organisations. While research data provides some insight into the barriers which work to discourage more SMEs from recruiting graduates, this understanding appears inadequate and insufficiently segmented to provide a detailed knowledge of the problems. A prevailing assumption is that graduates lack skills required by SME employers. Yet the limited research findings reveal ambiguity about the extent to which SMEs effectively deploy graduate labour. The article proposes an agenda that highlights the need for two types of research. First, a clearer picture of current trends in the SME graduate labour market. Second, a richer understanding of the real experience of graduates, and their managers, in relation to employment in an SME and the implications of such for both the supply and demand sides of the graduate labour market.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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