What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability: Lessons from National OLT research

Shelley Kinash, Linda H Crane, Madelaine-Marie Judd, Cecily Knight, David Dowling

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Abstract

Based on 2013 data, Graduate Careers Australia reported that graduate employability rates are the lowest they have been in twenty years. This paper applies outcomes from a National OLT project commissioned in 2013 (completed in 2015) in response to this employment crisis. This paper presents research outcomes from analysis of in-depth one-hour interviews and focus groups with 147 people from across four stakeholder groups: students, graduates, higher education personnel (educators and career development personnel) and employers. Validated narrative analysis was conducted on full transcripts. Eleven themes emerged: multi-national corporations; competitive sport, athletes and employability; entrepreneurship; private institutions; career development centres; indigenous employment; commercial employment enterprises; government; emerging careers; generalist disciplines; and graduate attributes. Each theme is elaborated in the paper. Based on the research results, in order to enhance employability upon graduation, students are encouraged to: start early, such as in their first semester; participate in work experience, placements and internships; join in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. student societies, clubs and competitive sport); and get to know their educators and their career development centre personnel. Based on the research, stakeholders from across groups perceive that employability is enhanced when graduates: actively participate in their learning, particularly engaging in placement/internship opportunities when available; choose a few prospective employers, do their research and tailor their applications; participate in industry graduate initiatives when offered; and know themselves and practice articulating their personal employability brands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38
Subtitle of host publicationRefereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference
EditorsT Thomas, E Levin, P Dawson, K Fraser
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Pages94-106
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-908557-96-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia: Learning for life and work in a complex world - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 6 Jul 20159 Jul 2015
http://www.herdsa.org.au/annual-conference

Conference

ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Abbreviated titleHERSDA
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period6/07/159/07/15
Internet address

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graduate
career
competitive sports
personnel
student
internship
employer
stakeholder
educator
private institution
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multinational corporation
clubs
athlete
entrepreneurship
research results
semester
narrative
industry

Cite this

Kinash, S., Crane, L. H., Judd, M-M., Knight, C., & Dowling, D. (2015). What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability: Lessons from National OLT research. In T. Thomas, E. Levin, P. Dawson, & K. Fraser (Eds.), Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38: Refereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference (pp. 94-106). Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.
Kinash, Shelley ; Crane, Linda H ; Judd, Madelaine-Marie ; Knight, Cecily ; Dowling, David. / What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability : Lessons from National OLT research. Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38: Refereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference. editor / T Thomas ; E Levin ; P Dawson ; K Fraser. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, 2015. pp. 94-106
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abstract = "Based on 2013 data, Graduate Careers Australia reported that graduate employability rates are the lowest they have been in twenty years. This paper applies outcomes from a National OLT project commissioned in 2013 (completed in 2015) in response to this employment crisis. This paper presents research outcomes from analysis of in-depth one-hour interviews and focus groups with 147 people from across four stakeholder groups: students, graduates, higher education personnel (educators and career development personnel) and employers. Validated narrative analysis was conducted on full transcripts. Eleven themes emerged: multi-national corporations; competitive sport, athletes and employability; entrepreneurship; private institutions; career development centres; indigenous employment; commercial employment enterprises; government; emerging careers; generalist disciplines; and graduate attributes. Each theme is elaborated in the paper. Based on the research results, in order to enhance employability upon graduation, students are encouraged to: start early, such as in their first semester; participate in work experience, placements and internships; join in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. student societies, clubs and competitive sport); and get to know their educators and their career development centre personnel. Based on the research, stakeholders from across groups perceive that employability is enhanced when graduates: actively participate in their learning, particularly engaging in placement/internship opportunities when available; choose a few prospective employers, do their research and tailor their applications; participate in industry graduate initiatives when offered; and know themselves and practice articulating their personal employability brands.",
author = "Shelley Kinash and Crane, {Linda H} and Madelaine-Marie Judd and Cecily Knight and David Dowling",
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Kinash, S, Crane, LH, Judd, M-M, Knight, C & Dowling, D 2015, What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability: Lessons from National OLT research. in T Thomas, E Levin, P Dawson & K Fraser (eds), Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38: Refereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, pp. 94-106, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Melbourne, Australia, 6/07/15.

What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability : Lessons from National OLT research. / Kinash, Shelley; Crane, Linda H; Judd, Madelaine-Marie; Knight, Cecily; Dowling, David.

Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38: Refereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference. ed. / T Thomas; E Levin; P Dawson; K Fraser. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, 2015. p. 94-106.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability

T2 - Lessons from National OLT research

AU - Kinash, Shelley

AU - Crane, Linda H

AU - Judd, Madelaine-Marie

AU - Knight, Cecily

AU - Dowling, David

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Based on 2013 data, Graduate Careers Australia reported that graduate employability rates are the lowest they have been in twenty years. This paper applies outcomes from a National OLT project commissioned in 2013 (completed in 2015) in response to this employment crisis. This paper presents research outcomes from analysis of in-depth one-hour interviews and focus groups with 147 people from across four stakeholder groups: students, graduates, higher education personnel (educators and career development personnel) and employers. Validated narrative analysis was conducted on full transcripts. Eleven themes emerged: multi-national corporations; competitive sport, athletes and employability; entrepreneurship; private institutions; career development centres; indigenous employment; commercial employment enterprises; government; emerging careers; generalist disciplines; and graduate attributes. Each theme is elaborated in the paper. Based on the research results, in order to enhance employability upon graduation, students are encouraged to: start early, such as in their first semester; participate in work experience, placements and internships; join in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. student societies, clubs and competitive sport); and get to know their educators and their career development centre personnel. Based on the research, stakeholders from across groups perceive that employability is enhanced when graduates: actively participate in their learning, particularly engaging in placement/internship opportunities when available; choose a few prospective employers, do their research and tailor their applications; participate in industry graduate initiatives when offered; and know themselves and practice articulating their personal employability brands.

AB - Based on 2013 data, Graduate Careers Australia reported that graduate employability rates are the lowest they have been in twenty years. This paper applies outcomes from a National OLT project commissioned in 2013 (completed in 2015) in response to this employment crisis. This paper presents research outcomes from analysis of in-depth one-hour interviews and focus groups with 147 people from across four stakeholder groups: students, graduates, higher education personnel (educators and career development personnel) and employers. Validated narrative analysis was conducted on full transcripts. Eleven themes emerged: multi-national corporations; competitive sport, athletes and employability; entrepreneurship; private institutions; career development centres; indigenous employment; commercial employment enterprises; government; emerging careers; generalist disciplines; and graduate attributes. Each theme is elaborated in the paper. Based on the research results, in order to enhance employability upon graduation, students are encouraged to: start early, such as in their first semester; participate in work experience, placements and internships; join in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. student societies, clubs and competitive sport); and get to know their educators and their career development centre personnel. Based on the research, stakeholders from across groups perceive that employability is enhanced when graduates: actively participate in their learning, particularly engaging in placement/internship opportunities when available; choose a few prospective employers, do their research and tailor their applications; participate in industry graduate initiatives when offered; and know themselves and practice articulating their personal employability brands.

M3 - Chapter

SP - 94

EP - 106

BT - Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38

A2 - Thomas, T

A2 - Levin, E

A2 - Dawson, P

A2 - Fraser, K

PB - Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

ER -

Kinash S, Crane LH, Judd M-M, Knight C, Dowling D. What students and graduates need to know about graduate employability: Lessons from National OLT research. In Thomas T, Levin E, Dawson P, Fraser K, editors, Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World Vol. 38: Refereed papers from the 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. 2015. p. 94-106