Presentation on theme: "Institutional research into careers as a way of enhancing students’ academic and career development Maura O’Regan 30 th June 2010 HEIR Conference DCU."— Presentation transcript:
Institutional research into careers as a way of enhancing students’ academic and career development Maura O’Regan 30 th June 2010 HEIR Conference DCU
POLICYRESEARCHPRACTICE Focus on student satisfaction and destinations post-graduation e.g. O’Regan (2009, 2010) Tomlinson (2007) Holmes (2001) Focus on the end result, Making career decisions Not linked to theory Career is idiosyncratic, subjective and contextualised Linked to ‘old’ theory Tend to see the student body as a homogenous group (one size fits all) Simplistic view of career path
Academic development Academic skills Research methodology Empirical evidence – Positional papers Application of theory to practice Critical analysis Discussion topics Discipline variations
Research strategy - 2006-2007 Interviews & Diary entries Formal Informal Conversations & Email PRACTICAL APPROACH Autumn Spring Summer Volunteers = 30 Second year undergraduates 14 History (single or combined) 16 Economics (modules) 15 Male 15 Female QUALITATIVE & INTERPRETIVE
FUTURE FOCUS LOWHIGH CAREER RELEVANCE LOW HIGH Orientated to LEARNING Have made a smooth transition to university Are enjoying their studies Value their studies and what they are gaining academically Are relatively unconcerned about their career - it will come later Orientated to INSTRUMENTALISM Have come to university to get a degree to further their career ideas Take a very strategic approach to their career and their future Take advantage of every opportunity Are aware of what they need to do to realise their career aspirations Set themselves goals and targets Orientated to INTROSPECTION Have not made a smooth transition to university Are anxious about fitting in Worry about passing their exams Need a lot of support as lack confidence and self-esteem Orientated to HESITATION Have made a smooth transition to university Are flexible, easy going and enjoy the social aspects of university Know what type of career they want but realising it is too far in the future Know what they need to do but never seem to get around to doing it Leave things to the last minute but take responsibility for their procrastination O’Regan, M. (2010) Challenging conventional thinking about career in the higher education curriculum. Career Research & Development NICEC Journal, 23, pp. 20-24. Billy Alice Phoebe Liz James
Orientation to labour market (LM) (ends) Non-market orientation Ritualist next largest group Careerist almost half undergraduates Rebel none Retreatist 2 undergraduates Career as a life project, a vehicle for self development & personal fulfilment. ‘Play the game’ aware of the need to conform to the rules of the market. ‘Working their way up’ ‘do all you can’. Take an instrumental approach to developing their graduate profiles. Career progression is important – gaining on the ground experience. Use their knowledge of the LM to negotiate the demands of the LM. Female students entering male dominated professions –accountancy, engineering. Work as a ritual process. Work is a means to an end, ‘something you have to do’. Place greater value on lifestyle and life projects operating outside the LM. They lower the stakes and ‘scale down’. aspirations, could be seen as managing the risk, progress more easily with more limited material rewards. Less ambitious expectations - ‘do all you need’ ‘settle for’ public sector work, Female students shy away from male dominated professions, go for lower demand, lower entry markets with anticipated smoother, more stable paths. Do take an instrumental approach to study and developing credentials. Abandoning labour market goals and employability Have genuine feelings of anxiety and disaffection, developing a career is ‘daunting’ They want to extend their youth and continue to enjoy their loosely regulated lifestyles. Indifferent to the LM. Aware of the limitations of their hard credentials. LM was seen as corrupt and greedy, although their rebellion was passive. The author would expect that they would abandon LM goals Reference: Tomlinson, Michael (2007) Graduate employability and student attitudes and orientations to the labour market. Journal of Education and Work, 20(4) pp. 285-304 Ideal type orientation Active Passive (means)
References Holmes, Len (2001) Reconsidering Graduate Employability: the ‘graduate identity’ approach. Quality in HE, 7(2) pp. 111-119. O’Regan, Maura (2009) Career Pursuit: : towards an understanding of undergraduate students’ orientation to career. Unpublished PhD, University of Reading. O’Regan, Maura (2010) Challenging conventional thinking about career in the higher education curriculum. Career Research & Development NICEC Journal, 23, pp. 20-24. Tomlinson, Michael (2007) Graduate employability and student attitudes and orientations to the labour market. Journal of Education and Work, 20(4) pp. 285-304.
Contact details: email@example.com In conclusion It’s really not the end of the world for me if I don’t get an amazing job straight away… Monica Maybe I rushed into making a careers decision in my second year… Phoebe I just don’t think it is important enough for me to start worrying about what I want to do. I’d rather focus on other stuff that I think is more important like studying - focusing on that as opposed to what I want to do in the future…Billy
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