Reframing employability: exploring career-related values in psychology undergraduates

Bromnick, Rachel and Horowitz, Ava (2013) Reframing employability: exploring career-related values in psychology undergraduates. In: Proceedings of the HEA STEM Learning and Teaching Conference (2013). Higher Education Academy. ISBN 9781907207976

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Despite the current economic climate, improving the first graduate destination of students is a key strategic priority for UK Higher Education institutions (HEIs). Supporting students in the development of their transferable skills has become the mainstay of employability initiatives. In this empirical study, the skills approach was broadened to critically analyse students’ work-related values. Seventy-one psychology students (60 female, 11 male: modal age 20 years) selected their personal values from a large array, based on the learning resources provided by Lantz (2011). They also provided a brief written narrative explaining what each of their endorsed values meant to them. The qualitative analysis revealed a strongly other-orientated focus, with ‘helping others’ as the dominant value for this sample. Although UK universities are judged on the type of work and starting salaries of their new graduates, these students were not seeking prestige or financial gain in their prospective careers. The results are discussed in terms of how these other-orientated values might be processed alongside the typically scientific and individualistic skills developed during undergraduate study in Psychology and the potential impact this may have on the student experience. The paper concludes by advocating an existential model of employability and provides examples of how this can be achieved.

Additional Information:Higher Education Academy STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013: Where practice and pedagogy meet Date: 17-18 April 2013 Location/venue: University of Birmingham
Keywords:bmjtype, Education, Employability, oaopen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:15013
Deposited On:19 Sep 2014 13:31

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