Graduates, Careers and Career Agency: What We Know and What We Need to Know

Janet FERGUSON
Griffith University, Australia
janet.ferguson@griffithuni.edu.au

Janis BAILEY
Griffith University, Australia
j.bailey@griffith.edu.au

Teresa MARCHANT
Griffith University, Australia
t.marchant@griffithuni.edu.au

Abstract

Understanding the nature of careers is essential for those working in higher education, as many staff – not simply those in careers services – influence graduating students' understanding of and attitudes towards their about-to-unfold careers. This paper integrates the careers literature with the literature on graduate transition to professional employment in order to raise debate about graduate career agency. A new perspective on careers, from graduates' viewpoints, is essential. Current careers research focuses mostly on organisational perspectives, so we need to explore graduates' perspectives to determine whether there is a connection between graduates' career orientation and a successful transition. This paper therefore brings the ‘graduate perspective' into the careers literature, arguing that greater understanding of graduates' career transition will inform and benefit all involved in higher education – and ultimately graduates themselves.

Print Close