Gateways not pathways: student perceptions of the portals to employability

[thumbnail of 1499-Article Text-4595-4897-10-20220521.pdf]

Lock, Edward ORCID: 0000-0002-7728-7236 and Kelly, Kate ORCID: 0000-0003-2954-2009 (2022) Gateways not pathways: student perceptions of the portals to employability. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 13 (1). pp. 65-78. ISSN 1838-3815


The expectation that tertiary education leads to employment is one that most commencing students hold. A problem arises when there is a gap between the knowledge and skills students expect to acquire and the knowledge and skills course designers and teachers expect students to develop. The present study interviewed 22 first year students and 12 final year students to explore their expectations and experiences of employability teaching and learning, and compared these to the conceptions of employability articulated in their institution’s policy documentation. The findings suggest that most students believed that, to achieve their career goals, their primary focus should be on completing their academic studies, and that all relevant knowledge and skills would be unveiled during this process. As such, they viewed their time at university as a distinct stage in their development, one that must be completed before they move on to engage with the challenge of employment. Such expectations differ in important ways from those of the institution at which participants were enrolled, which sets employability within the context of an ever-changing job market and the consequent need for life-long learning. Moreover, while the institution clearly articulates the skills that they believe are embedded within their units and courses, this is not being conveyed to students. Implications of this research highlight the need to carefully consider what expectations students are bringing with them regarding the enhancement of employability and how institutions can best act to bridge the gap between students’ expectations and their own.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.21153/jtlge2022vol13no1art1499
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy
Current > Division/Research > First Year College
Keywords employability, graduate students, tertiary education, course design
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login