Factors.influencing.job.attainment.in.recentBachelor.pdf - High Educ(2014 68:135–153 DOI 10.1007/s10734-013-9696-7 Factors influencing job attainment

Factors.influencing.job.attainment.in.recentBachelor.pdf -...

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Factors influencing job attainment in recent Bachelor graduates: evidence from Australia Denise Jackson Published online: 24 November 2013 Ó Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013 Abstract Favourable graduate employment outcomes are critical for future enrolments in higher education. Enrolments fund higher education providers and ensure a continuous supply of graduates to enhance organisational effectiveness, national productivity and global competitiveness. Recent evidence suggests the global financial crisis has softened graduate labour markets. Stakeholder concerns for graduate career prospects and the adequacy of return on investment from studying at university prompt exploration of those factors which influence graduate employment outcomes. This study tests, using logistic regression, a model of job attainment in recent Bachelor graduates of Australian higher education providers using national data gathered in 2011 ( n = 28,246) and 2012 ( n = 28,009). Findings indicate employer selection criteria broadly align with our understanding of what constitutes graduate employability, including technical expertise, generic skill mastery and a successfully formed graduate identity. Labour market oppor- tunities, however, are not based on merit alone with employers favouring those graduating from prestigious universities, part-time students and whose study incorporated elements of on-campus learning. There were also noted variations by discipline, age and residency status. The study enhances our understanding of which factors influence graduate employment outcomes and discusses implications for relevant stakeholders. Keywords Graduate Á Job attainment Á Employment factors Á Australia Á Employability Introduction The importance of students successfully attaining full-time employment in their chosen profession cannot be underestimated. Higher education is a significant investment (Ward D. Jackson ( & ) Edith Cowan University, 2.455, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia e-mail: [email protected] 123 High Educ (2014) 68:135–153 DOI 10.1007/s10734-013-9696-7
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et al. 2012 ) and has associated opportunity costs, such as reduced workplace experience and lower earnings. Above all, the degree is considered by students as a means of achieving employment (Australian Bureau Statistics 2010 ; Roy Morgan Research 2009 ). As Lauder et al. ( 2006 ) declare, students are now demanding their rights as customers in a labour market which requires advanced credentials, seeing a shift from ‘inquisitive’ to ‘acquisitive’ learners. Favourable employment outcomes are vital for higher education providers to attract potential students which significantly fund their operations (Bourner and Millican 2011 ). Further, sufficient student enrolments are needed to sustain graduates’ instrumental role in enhancing organisational effectiveness, national productivity and global competitiveness (Glover et al. 2002 ).
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