Enhancing business undergraduates’ skills and future employability through career development and management

PhD Thesis


Leong, Raymond Yew Pong. 2016. Enhancing business undergraduates’ skills and future employability through career development and management . PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Enhancing business undergraduates’ skills and future employability through career development and management

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorLeong, Raymond Yew Pong
SupervisorKavanagh, Marie
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages249
Year2016
Abstract

There is currently a gap between employer expectations of the skills graduates should possess on entry to the workforce and the skills that new graduates possess. The new knowledge economy, emerging as a result of technological advancement, needs business graduates with flexible mindsets and transferable skill sets, capable of innovating and adapting to dynamic work environments. Many Australian companies are unable to attract competent and quality workers, with business leaders often citing poor business acumen, lack of relevant skills and real world experience as serious shortcomings leading to employers deeming new graduates as not work-ready.

For universities to stay relevant, they will have to be proactive rather than reactive, challenge existing pedagogies and re-examine their teaching approaches in higher education in order to add value to students’ learning and the community. To achieve this, course curricula must develop learning, teaching and assessment practices to encourage employability development to take place alongside developments in discipline specialisations. The importance of developing employability skills has been acknowledged by business, government and universities. Universities are now focusing on developing employability skills in students to prepare them for work in different work contexts and dynamic business environments (Barrie 2006; Bridgstock 2009).

The objective of this thesis is to study how one Australian university used a Career Development Learning activity to facilitate future employability preparation and development in first year business students in an Accounting course as part of careers education. Through personal student journal reflections, a majority of students found the experiential activity beneficial in helping them prepare for future employability. Through this activity, they learned about the skills required for successful careers and encouraged them to identify practical ways to improve their employability prospects.

The findings will be used to extend the Systems Theory Framework in Career Development and may assist academics and career practitioners to better prepare their business students to seek suitable post-graduation employment, thereby assisting to narrow the employer-graduate expectations gap.

Keywordsbusiness graduates; employability
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350503. Human resources management
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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