Position, possession or process? Understanding objective and subjective employability during university-to-work transitions

Okay-Somerville, B. and Scholarios, D. (2017) Position, possession or process? Understanding objective and subjective employability during university-to-work transitions. Studies in Higher Education, 42(7), pp. 1275-1291. (doi:10.1080/03075079.2015.1091813)

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Abstract

This article aims to understand predictors of objective (i.e. job offers, employment status and employment quality) and subjective (i.e. perceived) graduate employability during university-to-work transitions. Using survey data from two cohorts of graduates in the UK (N = 293), it contrasts three competing theoretical approaches to employability: position (based on social background), possession (of human capital) and process (of career self-management (CSM)). Findings support the process view of graduate employability, developed through engaging in CSM, in particular environment exploration, networking and guidance seeking. There is also some support for a possession view where educational credentials predict employment quality and perceived employability. Theoretically, the study highlights the importance of proactive career behaviours as well as the constraining role of educational credentials for some during university-to-work transitions. These findings have practical implications for university students/graduates and career counsellors, and, more indirectly, for employers and policy-makers.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Keywords:University graduates, employability, university employability, university-to-work transitions, careers, career self-management.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scholarios, Prof Dora and Okay-Somerville, Dr Belgin
Authors: Okay-Somerville, B., and Scholarios, D.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Research Group:Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour
Journal Name:Studies in Higher Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0307-5079
ISSN (Online):1470-174X
Published Online:17 November 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Society for Research into Higher Education
First Published:First published in Studies in Higher Education 42(7): 1275-1291
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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