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Book part
Publication date: 9 May 2018

Katy Vigurs, Steven Jones, Julia Everitt and Diane Harris

This chapter draws on findings from a comparative, qualitative research project investigating the decision-making of different groups of English higher education students…

Abstract

This chapter draws on findings from a comparative, qualitative research project investigating the decision-making of different groups of English higher education students in central England as they graduated from a Russell group university (46 interviewees) and a Post-92 university (28 interviewees). Half of the students graduated in 2014 (lower tuition fees regime) and the other half graduated in 2015 (higher tuition fees regime). The students interviewed were sampled by socio-economic background, gender, degree subject/discipline and secondary school type. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore students’ future plans and perceptions of their future job prospects. Despite higher debt levels, the 2015 sample of Russell Group graduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds had a positive view of their labour market prospects and a high proportion had achieved either a graduate job or a place on a postgraduate course prior to graduation. This group had saved money whilst studying. The 2015 sample of Post-1992 University graduates (from both lower and average socio-economic backgrounds) were worried about their level of debt, future finances and labour market prospects. This chapter raises questions about whether a fairer university finance system, involving lower levels of debt for graduates from less advantaged backgrounds, might avoid some graduatestransitions to adulthood being so strongly influenced by financial anxieties.

Details

Higher Education Funding and Access in International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-651-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2020

Nikki McQuillan, Christine Wightman, Cathy Moore, Una McMahon-Beattie and Heather Farley

Vocational higher education and skills are recognised as key factors in shaping an economy to adapt to fast-emerging business models that disrupt workplace behaviours…

2720

Abstract

Purpose

Vocational higher education and skills are recognised as key factors in shaping an economy to adapt to fast-emerging business models that disrupt workplace behaviours. Employers require graduates to be “work-ready”, emphasising the need to demonstrate resilience, as a critical desired behaviour (CBI, 2019). This case study shares the integrated curriculum design, co-creation and operationalisation of “Graduate Transitions” workshops that were piloted in a compulsory final-year module across a number of programmes in a higher education institutions’ business faculty to enhance graduates “work readiness”.

Design/methodology/approach

The collaboration and leadership thinking of industry professionals, academics and career consultants designed and co-created a workshop that enhances transitioning student resilience and prepares them for their future of work. Action research gathered data using a mixed-methods approach to evaluate student and stakeholder feedback.

Findings

Evidence indicates that the workshops actively embed practical coping strategies for resilience and mindful leaders in transitioning graduates. It assures employers that employability and professional practice competencies are experienced by transitioning graduates entering the future workplace.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to this research are clearly in the methodology and concentrating on the co-creation of an innovative curriculum design project instead of the tools to accurately evaluate the impact in a systematic manner. There was also limited time and resource to design a more sophisticated platform to collect data and analyse it with the imperative academic rigour required. Emphasis on piloting and operationalisation of the intervention, due to time and resource restrictions, also challenged the methodological design.

Practical implications

The positive feedback from these workshops facilitated integration into the curriculum at an institution-wide level. This paper shares with the academic community of practice, the pedagogy and active learning design that could be customised within their own institution as an intervention to positively influence the new metrics underpinning graduate outcomes.

Originality/value

This pioneering curriculum design ensures that employability and professional practice competencies are experienced by graduates transitioning to the workplace.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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…

414

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: 24 October 2019

Sílvia Monteiro, Maria do Céu Taveira and Leandro Almeida

In a socioeconomic context that is undergoing continuous change, career adaptability emerges as a central construct for understanding the employability of graduates. The…

2192

Abstract

Purpose

In a socioeconomic context that is undergoing continuous change, career adaptability emerges as a central construct for understanding the employability of graduates. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to analyze intra-individual differences in career adaptability among graduates between the end of graduation (time 1) and integration into the labor market 18 months later (time 2); and second, to analyze the effect of career adaptability on graduates’ employment status 18 months after completing graduation.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 183 graduates in four different study fields (Economics, Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities and Law) completed the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale at two different points in time: when they graduated and 18 months after graduation. To assess intra-individual differences over time and the effect of career adaptability on graduates’ employment status, a repeated measures design was used.

Findings

The obtained results confirmed a positive association of the four dimensions of career adaptability, with higher scores for the group of employed graduates, in the two measurement times. No statistical differences emerged within personal variables.

Practical implications

This study evidences the relation of career adaptability and employability and demonstrates that it is possible to identify those students who are more vulnerable in terms of career adaptability resources before university-to-work transition and, on this basis, to outline specific interventions to promote their employability.

Originality/value

By adopting a design with two repeated measures of career adaptability, this study offers new insights about the specific role of adaptability in a university-to-work transition period.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 61 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2021

Kristen Howell Gregory and Amanda Kate Burbage

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of critical friendship on a first- and last-year doctoral student’s novice and expert mindsets during role…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of critical friendship on a first- and last-year doctoral student’s novice and expert mindsets during role transitions. Doctoral students are challenged to navigate role transitions during their academic programs. Experiences in research expectations, academy acculturation and work-life balance, may impact doctoral students’ novice-expert mindsets and contribute to the costly problem of attrition. Universities offer generic doctoral support, but few support sources address the long-term self-directed nature of self-study.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors participated in a collaborative self-study over a 30-month period. The authors collected 35 personal shared journal entries and 12 recorded and transcribed discussions. The authors conducted a constant comparative analysis of the data, and individually and collaboratively coded the data for initial and focused codes to construct themes.

Findings

The critical friendship provided a safe space to explore the doctoral experiences and novice-expert mindsets, which the authors were not fully able to do with programmatic support alone. The authors identified nine specific strategies that positively impacted the novice-expert mindsets during the following role transitions: professional to student, student to graduate and graduate to professional.

Originality/value

While researchers have identified strategies and models for doctoral student support targeting specific milestones, this study identified strategies to support doctoral students’ novice-expert mindsets during role transitions. These strategies may benefit other graduate students, as well as faculty and program directors, as they work to support student completion.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Ilka Dunne and Anita Bosch

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the misunderstandings that hamper the graduate identity development process of black South African graduates in the first year of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the misunderstandings that hamper the graduate identity development process of black South African graduates in the first year of work. The authors introduce the role of an independent mediator in supporting identity development in a graduate development programme (GDP). The independent mediator mediates between graduate and manager when misunderstandings occur that inhibit the warranting process during professional identity development.

Design/methodology/approach

In seeking to understand the graduate transition from student to professional, the authors used identity studies as the foundation from which to track a group of 21 graduates on a year-long GDP, in a financial institution in Johannesburg, South Africa. A model of emergent graduate identity was utilised to gain insight into the warranting process and associated behaviours that graduates employ in their interactions with others in the workplace.

Findings

As warranting is based on people’s own assumptions and beliefs about a particular situation or role, misunderstandings can occur during the warranting process when graduates are determining their professional identity, and managers are either affirming of disaffirming this identity. These misunderstandings were exacerbated by the fact that the graduates were often South African multi-cultural, first-generation professionals who lacked insight into and experience of corporate dynamics, this impacted on how they found their place in the organisation. Both graduates and managers were often not equipped to deal with cultural, racial, and other differences. When the graduate programme manager stepped in to play the additional role of independent mediator, helping to mediate misinterpretations during the identity formation process, the negative impact of misunderstandings was lessened, and graduates transitioned to a professional identity with greater ease. Managers also learned about managing multi-cultural individuals and their own, often limiting, experiences and worldviews.

Practical implications

This highlights the value of a third-party intervention in graduate identity transitions, particularly in contexts where the graduate has little or no experience of what it means to be professional, and where managers are not equipped to deal with people who come from backgrounds that differ vastly from their own.

Originality/value

The role of a third-party in shaping the identities of graduates during the identity warranting process, referred to as the independent mediator in this paper, has not been presented in research before. Studies of this nature would give us insight into how best to support graduate identity development and improve the design of GDPs.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Peter McIlveen and Dominic Pensiero

The purpose of this paper is to overview the Backpack‐to‐Briefcase project which established a set of prototype career development learning strategies for Australian…

2195

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to overview the Backpack‐to‐Briefcase project which established a set of prototype career development learning strategies for Australian university career services, with the aim of contributing to their services for supporting students and graduates to make a smoother transition into graduate employment and the world‐of‐work.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study analysis of the development and implementation of three career development learning interventions is described. These interventions include: employability skills workshops for students; career mentoring for students; and services to small and medium sized employers to support their recruitment and induction of new graduates into their worksites.

Findings

The prototype interventions developed in the project extended the work of the university's Career Service. The interventions were judged as having the capacity to be readily implemented by university career services. A key outcome was the success of the graduate‐induction initiative which engaged small and medium sized employers traditionally unfamiliar with or unable to enter the graduate recruitment market.

Originality/value

This case study highlights the value of university career services' contributions to undergraduate preparation for the world‐of‐work, particularly in regional areas. Furthermore, the case study highlights the importance of inter‐departmental cooperation within the university environment, and the value of university‐industry collaboration toward the goal of improving graduates' transitions into the workforce, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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.

952

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: 11 April 2016

Joann S. Olson

The purpose of this paper is to describe the college-to-work transition as experienced by first-generation college (FGC) graduates. First-generation graduates are often…

1462

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the college-to-work transition as experienced by first-generation college (FGC) graduates. First-generation graduates are often adjusting to workplaces that are significantly different from parents’ work environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This phenomenological study explored the early-career learning experiences of six FGC graduates from the USA. All participants were working full-time and had graduated two to six years earlier.

Findings

Three themes were identified: starting the job, being in the job, and releasing the past. Participants highlighted unanticipated aspects of their college-to-work transition, including dealing with workplace politics and family dynamics. They also described ambivalence between their current work and the desire to pursue a more compelling career or vocational passion.

Research limitations/implications

All participants were white and from similar (rural) settings in one region of the USA. The qualitative nature of the study restricts generalization.

Practical implications

This study suggests, given the distinction between first-generation students’ post-college work environments and that of their parents, that educators’ efforts to assist FGC students might appropriately extend to topics beyond graduation. FGC graduates should be alerted to the impact of shifts in social and cultural norms, and informed about changing family dynamics that may continue after leaving school.

Originality/value

Previous research has highlighted the challenges facing FGC students. This is one of few studies that explores the experiences of FGC graduates in the workplace following graduation.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 58 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Julien Calmand, Jean-François Giret and Christine Guégnard

In France, the vocationalization of higher education has resulted in an increase in the number of graduates and created new opportunities. The access of these vocational…

Abstract

Purpose

In France, the vocationalization of higher education has resulted in an increase in the number of graduates and created new opportunities. The access of these vocational bachelor graduates to the labour market raises the issue of their professional prospects amid changing economic and social circumstances. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To provide insights into these issues, the employment situation of bachelor graduates during the first years of active working life will be compared with other tertiary graduates entering the labour market in the same years, using econometric models that estimate the effects of vocational courses “all other things being equal”, incorporating a range of individual characteristics.

Findings

Overall, vocational bachelor graduates experienced fewer difficulties in seeking to enter the labour market during difficult economic circumstances. They did not achieve upward social mobility with a lower probability of obtaining a managerial/professional occupation three years after graduation. These results confirm that diplomas continue to play a central and hierarchized role in France.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to highlight the labour market transition of vocational bachelor graduates during a period of economic crisis, inquiring on the social benefit of this new diploma in France: what were the impacts of the changing economic conditions and influx of vocational bachelor graduates on their labour market transition and their chances of upward social mobility?

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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