Classifying university employability strategies: three case studies and implications for practice and research

Farenga, Stéphane A, Quinlan, Kathleen M. (2015) Classifying university employability strategies: three case studies and implications for practice and research. Journal of Education and Work, 29 (7). pp. 767-787. ISSN 1363-9080. (doi:10.1080/13639080.2015.1064517) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2015.1064517

Abstract

This qualitative study documents three main strategic models used by Russell Group Careers Services to support students’ preparation for graduate careers. It is framed against the backdrop of a challenging graduate labour market, discussions of employability in the literature and the policy assumption that universities are responsible for developing students’ employability. First, we classify the strategies used at Russell Group universities through a content analysis of Careers Service websites. We then select three case studies representing contrasting patterns of provision. Interviews with Careers Service directors and staff at the case study institutions provide the rationales behind these three different strategies, which we describe as ‘Hands-Off’, ‘Portfolio’ and ‘Award’. Drawing on 17 interviews and analysis of participation data provided by the Careers Services, we compare and contrast the approaches. The first case fills gaps in an esteemed academic system in which most students already have social capital. The second case focuses on segmenting their market to directly serve varied student needs. The third case emphasises partnership with academics and embedding career development within the curriculum. We take a critical perspective on these strategies in relation to major theoretical conceptions of employability found in the literature. Finally, we suggest implications for practices within Careers Services and further research in this underdeveloped field.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13639080.2015.1064517
Uncontrolled keywords: higher education, employability, Careers’ Services, career development, graduate attributes
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Faculties > University wide - Teaching/Research Groups > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Kathleen M Quinlan
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2017 10:33 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60336 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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