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Investigating the relationship between career planning, proactivity and employability perceptions among higher education students in uncertain labour market conditions

Investigating the relationship between career planning, proactivity and employability perceptions among higher education students in uncertain labour market conditions
Investigating the relationship between career planning, proactivity and employability perceptions among higher education students in uncertain labour market conditions
This paper addresses the limited empirical analysis of higher education students’ perceptions of contemporary labour market demands. It explores their perspectives on the health of the graduate labour market, what factors determine these and how their perceptions relate to self-perceived employability, career proactivity, career control and efforts to develop positional advantage. Further, the study examines determinants of students’ career planning, all in the context of a challenging graduate labour market and higher education systems that have become more market-driven. The paper draws on evidence from a survey among Australian and UK students (N = 433), from two institutions and across a range of disciplines. Data revealed a number of significant findings. Overall, students who reported more positive perceptions of the current labour market were more likely to develop higher self-perceptions of employability, believe they had a greater sense of control over their career yet were less engaged with proactive career behaviours. Students perceived employability, their sense of career control and their reported career proactivity positively determined their engagement in career planning. The study enhances our understanding of the impact of labour market demand-side factors on student approaches to careers. It raises significant implications for universities and their career practitioners in identifying ways of enhancing students’ career planning strategies within a more challenging labour market context.
Career control, Career planning, Career proactivity, Labour market, Perceived employability
0018-1560
435-455
Jackson, Denise
804498bf-3359-4f61-a0f2-bb2377308cd4
Tomlinson, Michael
9dd1cbf0-d3b0-421e-8ded-b3949ebcee18
Jackson, Denise
804498bf-3359-4f61-a0f2-bb2377308cd4
Tomlinson, Michael
9dd1cbf0-d3b0-421e-8ded-b3949ebcee18

Jackson, Denise and Tomlinson, Michael (2020) Investigating the relationship between career planning, proactivity and employability perceptions among higher education students in uncertain labour market conditions. Higher Education, 80 (3), 435-455. (doi:10.1007/s10734-019-00490-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper addresses the limited empirical analysis of higher education students’ perceptions of contemporary labour market demands. It explores their perspectives on the health of the graduate labour market, what factors determine these and how their perceptions relate to self-perceived employability, career proactivity, career control and efforts to develop positional advantage. Further, the study examines determinants of students’ career planning, all in the context of a challenging graduate labour market and higher education systems that have become more market-driven. The paper draws on evidence from a survey among Australian and UK students (N = 433), from two institutions and across a range of disciplines. Data revealed a number of significant findings. Overall, students who reported more positive perceptions of the current labour market were more likely to develop higher self-perceptions of employability, believe they had a greater sense of control over their career yet were less engaged with proactive career behaviours. Students perceived employability, their sense of career control and their reported career proactivity positively determined their engagement in career planning. The study enhances our understanding of the impact of labour market demand-side factors on student approaches to careers. It raises significant implications for universities and their career practitioners in identifying ways of enhancing students’ career planning strategies within a more challenging labour market context.

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PP_Student perceptions of meaningful employment revised final - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 16 December 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 January 2020
Keywords: Career control, Career planning, Career proactivity, Labour market, Perceived employability

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438064
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438064
ISSN: 0018-1560
PURE UUID: bdadf854-0983-4797-b6c1-0e29f86d0e7d
ORCID for Michael Tomlinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1057-5188

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Date deposited: 27 Feb 2020 17:31
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 04:53

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Author: Denise Jackson

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