Student career choices are not a simple A to B

Kathleen M Quinlan and James Corbin publish on the student career journey

Students’ career journeys are not linear.

That was the conclusion of an invited blog for Wonkhe authored by Professor Kathleen M Quinlan, Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education and James Corbin, Head of Careers and Employability. The research, based on a survey of 663 graduating students and interviews with more than a dozen students was funded by the Higher Education Careers Advisory Service and published recently in one of the leading journals in the field, Studies in Higher Education.

They found that students are aware of their career interests and many proactively use the curriculum, placements, work experience, and co-curricular experiences to explore and refine those interests in ways that are salient to them, but have often been neglected in research and writing on employability.¬† The authors argue that university staff need to better¬†understand the experiences of career interest change from students’ perspectives and use that understanding to shape employability strategies and careers guidance.