Are graduates as good as they think? A discussion of overconfidence among graduates and its impact on employability

Hack-polay, Dieu (2020) Are graduates as good as they think? A discussion of overconfidence among graduates and its impact on employability. Education and Training . ISSN 0040-0912

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-10-2018-0213

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Are graduates as good as they think? A discussion of overconfidence among graduates and its impact on employability
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Abstract

Purpose The analysis critically examines overconfidence in numeracy among higher education (HE) graduates and its impact on their employability. The paper discusses the extent to which graduates, due to higher qualifications, overstate their numerical abilities. Design/methodology/approach The paper is a review of the academic literature examining the theoretical significance of overconfidence in higher education. The review subsequently draws on practice and policy reports that evidence graduates’ overconfidence in numeracy and basic skills. Findings The article shows a significant interaction between the level of qualification and overstatement of numerical abilities. The analysis found that graduates do not always have an important basic skill such as numeracy whose impact on work performance is significant. Practical /implications The findings are momentous for rethinking higher education curricula, employee development in organisations and government skills strategy. The article advocates more inclusive and interpretive research for a greater understanding of the issues and offer useful data to policymakers and higher education institutions in preparing graduates for work and decision-making. Further research in the field is required to enable the formulation of more authoritative conclusions. Originality/value A critical contribution of this reflection is to have linked the evidence from the academic literature with employer surveys about graduate basic skills to draw the attention to a vital issue affecting national and organisational productivity, thus, substantiating anecdotal evidence about graduate overconfidence. This reinforces the value of systematic literature review in research as it provides an opportunity for more informed policy formulation as well as extending the body of research.

Keywords:Overconfidence, Graduate employability, Numeracy skills, Basic skills, Higher education
Subjects:L Social studies > L433 Education Policy
N Business and Administrative studies > N600 Human Resource Management
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
X Education > X340 Academic studies in Tertiary Education
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:41146
Deposited On:18 Jun 2020 13:47

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