Purpose: With a focus on Chinese higher education students, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between students' perceived employability and their levels of academic engagement and stress.
Design/methodology/approach: The study engaged 1,155 students from three universities in China. Students responded to an online survey, reporting their confidence in relation to their perceived employability, academic engagement and stress in life. The authors employed structural equation modelling to explore students' confidence in each employability attribute and to assess perceived employability relation to academic engagement and perceived stress.
Findings: The results suggest that self-perceptions of employability are positively associated with students' academic engagement and negatively associated with perceived stress. Perceived employability mediated the majority paths.
Originality/value: This is one of the few studies to examine perceived employability in line with academic engagement or stress and the first study to do so in China.