Postgraduates’ experiences: they don’t like their chances

They want help to create career paths – they aren’t getting it

A new qualitative study of coursework and HDR postgrads finds “a strong theme of pessimism” about post-study careers especially among those who aspire to be academics.

“Interviewed students who commented specifically on their university’s employability and careers services   and   supports   tended   to express   dissatisfaction   for what   they   perceived as services specifically designed for undergraduates,” Elizabeth Cook (Edith Cowan U) and (quite a few) colleagues write.*

And PGs aren’t all that pleased about their academic experience which they expected, “to  be  different  from    and   further    advanced    than    their    undergraduate    studies. Overall, they expressed disappointment that this was generally not the case.”

The authors suggest universities should

* create opportunities for “robust scholarly interaction” among PGs * establish employability strategies specifically for postgrads * provide them with “success coaches” and * “recognise postgraduates as their emerging workforce”


* Elizabeth J Cook (Edith Cowan U), Linda Crane (Bond U), Shelley Kinash (Uni Southern Queensland), Amy Bannatyne (Bond U),  Joseph Crawford (Uni Tas), Gary Hamlin (Bond U), Madelaine-Marie Judd (Uni Queensland), Jo-Anne Kelder (Uni Tas), Helen Partridge (Deakin U) and Sarah Richardson (Australian Council for Educational Research, UK), “Australian postgraduate student experiences and anticipated employability: a national study from the students’ perspective,” Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12 2 (2021)