“The ability to get a job”: student understandings and definitions of employability
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© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore employability in the context of higher education (HE) from the students’ perspective. Limited attention has been paid to student understandings of their own employability in a Sport Science context and Tymon (2011) refers to them as “the missing perspective”. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents the findings of a study of Marine Sports Science students (n=63) at a post-1992 HE institution which through the qualitative element of a mixed methods survey explored their changing articulations of their employability as they progressed through their studies. The students surveyed were in receipt of a comprehensive programme of enterprise and employability activities embedded within their programme. Findings: Qualitative results showed that Marine Sport Science students’ articulations of employability expanded in vocabulary as the students progressed through their studies. Definitions also shifted from those that centred on what employers want (extrinsic) to what the student had to offer the employer (intrinsic). Originality/value: There are very few examples of studies that explore employability from the students’ perspective and this paper adds understanding on this “missing perspective”. It also addresses a specific discipline area; Marine Sport Science, which has yet to feature in any literature on employability.
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