The longer they learn the less their confidence that degrees deliver
Dawn Bennett and colleagues* wanted to know how bized UG perceptions of their employability change through stages of study – so they asked 6004 students at 32 Australian universities.
They found two interesting results, propose two response and set a challenge for academics.
Firstly, women are more confident about study and more self-aware of their own work-potential strengths and weaknesses.
Secondly, the longer people study the less confident they are about their degree making them employable. While they feel better in fourth year this might be because they decide their futures are up to them, that they need to develop experience and credentials beyond their course.
So what is to be done?: create a context for students’ thinking about their work futures by providing self-assessment tools across study which can “assist with overall confidence and more realistic self-appraisals. And help them create their own career and competencies narratives of formal courses and soft-skills.
“It may be that higher education needs to focus more overtly on communicating that it is delivering lifelong employability skills,” they write.
*Dawn Bennett (Bond U), Subramaniam Ananthram (Curtin U), Sophie Lindsay (St Mary’s U (UK) and Monash U), Kelly Benatti and Colin Jevons (Monash U), “Employability beliefs of business students by gender and year of study,” International Journal of Management Education, 20 (2022)