Changing conceptions of students' career development needs

Conference item


Artess, Jane 2014. Changing conceptions of students' career development needs. University of Niš.
AuthorsArtess, Jane
Abstract

Abstract — This paper takes as its starting point a brief review of a range of theoretical assumptions about the nature of career learning and decision-making and plots the emergence of the notion of ‘employability’ as a predominant paradigm for the organisation and delivery of career guidance services in UK higher education. The acquisition of employability skills in students is essentially a deficit paradigm that the provision of work-oriented learning opportunities seeks to address. A key driver for the development of employability as an institutional priority is policy-making by governmental agencies that foregrounds university-business partnerships as a component of economic generation. The development of workbased learning (WBL) and work placements as part of higher education courses is shown to exemplify how responsibility for students’ employability development is increasingly shared between institutions and (prospective) employers. The paper draws upon recent research findings that explore issues of quality assurance in WBL and work placements and poses questions for institutional services aimed to support students’ transition from higher education to the labour market. Access to WBL and work placements appears to be stratified and different types of opportunity are taken up by particular groups of students. A relatively new way of conceptualising career learning as ‘career adaptability’ has been developed out of theories of career ‘constructivism’ and is suggested to provide a return to a more student-centred paradigm which has the potential to be more inclusive. Career adaptability is exemplified by the use of the career adaptability scale to support students’ self assessment of their career learning and development.

Abstract — This paper takes as its starting point a brief review of a range of theoretical assumptions about the nature of career learning and decision-making and plots the emergence of the notion of ‘employability’ as a predominant paradigm for the organisation and delivery of career guidance services in UK
higher education. The acquisition of employability skills in students is essentially a deficit paradigm that the provision of work-oriented learning opportunities seeks to address.
A key driver for the development of employability as an
institutional priority is policy-making by governmental agencies that foregrounds university-business partnerships as a component of economic generation. The development of workbased learning (WBL) and work placements as part of higher education courses is shown to exemplify how responsibility for students’ employability development is increasingly shared
between institutions and (prospective) employers.
The paper draws upon recent research findings that explore issues of quality assurance in WBL and work placements and poses questions for institutional services aimed to support students’ transition from higher education to the labour market. Access to WBL and work placements appears to be stratified and different types of opportunity are taken up by particular groups of students.
A relatively new way of conceptualising career learning as ‘career adaptability’ has been developed out of theories of career ‘constructivism’ and is suggested to provide a return to a more student-centred paradigm which has the potential to be more inclusive. Career adaptability is exemplified by the use of the career adaptability scale to support students’ self assessment
of their career learning and development.

KeywordsCareer development; Students; Higher education; Serbia
Year2014
JournalProceedings of the International Careers Conference: Serbia within European Paradigm of Career Guidance - Recommendations and Perspectives, October 24th 2013
PublisherUniversity of Niš
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/565734
hdl:10545/565734
ISBN9.79E+12
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Open
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Publication dates2014
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Deposited07 Aug 2015, 08:32
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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