INSIGHTS FROM A CAREER DEVELOPMENT LEARNING INTERVENTION: THE IMPACT OF STUDENT MAJOR ON PERCEPTIONS OF EMPLOYABILITY

Amany Gouda-Vossos, Angela Ziebell

Abstract


Graduate employability has been an important and ongoing issue for universities, with concerns increasing as Australia faces recession. This prompted us to investigate the impacts of a semester-long Career Development Learning (CDL) intervention designed for STEM students and delivered at Monash University.

Utilising a mixed-method approach, we measured students’ (n = 293) ‘Self Perceived Employability’ (SPE) and followed up with open-ended questions related to valued skills and future concerns. Collectively this allowed us to understand student career awareness and perceptions of future success.

We found that students’ perception of the value of their degree and the demand of their skills varied with their field of study. For instance, students majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics perceived their skills to be low in demand within the labour force and were highly concerned with ‘unemployment or under employment’. In contrast, students majoring in Medicine perceived their skills to be highly desirable, with ‘admission to further study’ being of most concern.

CDL interventions are an important tool to help guide students through to employability. Our results highlight the need to tailor CDL interventions to specific fields to address the various concerns of students and to facilitate their future success.

Keywords


Career Development Learning; employability; STEM; student perceptions

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