Employability is a concept that is defined in many different ways. It can become entwined with employment outcomes, blurring the definition. Employers expect new employees to have the subject specific knowledge they need to do their job, and also expect them to have relevant soft skills. Students link employability to degree outcomes, but as their time in university education develops they see the importance of developing soft skills. A significant amount of responsibility for employability is placed on universities, as evident by the way that they are measured by external agencies. Although universities have a role to play in employability, this should not detract from their teaching of subject specific knowledge.
Argyris, C. (1960), Understanding Organisational Behaviour, London: Tavistock.
Boden, R. and Nedeva, M. (2010), ‘Employing discourse: universities and graduate “employability”’, Journal of Education Policy, 25(1), 37–54.
Brown, P., Hesketh, A. and Wiliams, S. (2003), ‘Employability in a knowledge-driven economy’, Journal of Education and Work, 16(2), 107–126.
CBI (1999), Making Employability Work: An Agenda for Action, London: CBI.
Cheng, M., Adekola, O., Albia, J. and Cai, S. (2021), ‘Employability in higher education: a review of key stakeholders’ perspectives’, Higher Education Evaluation and Development, 16(1), 16–31.
Clark, G., Marsden, R., Whyatt, J. D., Thompson, L. and Walker, M. (2015), ‘“It’s everything else you do…”: alumni views on extracurricular activities and employability’, Active Learning in Higher Education, 16(2), 133–147.
Collins, S. (2012), What Are Universities For? London: Penguin.
Conway, N., Guest, D. and Trenberth, L. (2011), ‘Testing the differential effects of changes in psychological contract breach and fulfillment’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 267–276.
De Weert, E. (2007), ‘Graduate employment in Europe: the employers’ perspective’, in U. Teichler (ed.), Careers of University Graduates, Dordrecht: Springer, pp._225–246.
Frankham, J. (2017), ‘Employability and higher education: the follies of the “productivity challenge” in the teaching excellence framework’, Journal of Education Policy, 32(5), 628–641.
Gedye, S. and Beaumont, E. (2018), ‘The ability to get a job: student understandings and definitions of employability’, Education and Training, 60(5), 406–420.
Hinchliffe, G. W. and Jolly, A. (2011), ‘Graduate identity and employability’, British Educational Research Journal, 37(4), 563–584.
Knight, P. T. and Yorke, M. (2003), ‘Employability and good learning in higher education’, Teaching in Higher Education, 8(1), 3–16.
Mason, G., Williams, G. and Cranmer, S. (2009), ‘Employability skills initiatives in higher education: what effects do they have on graduate labour market outcomes?’, Education Economics, 17(1), 1–30.
McCowan, T. (2015), ‘Should universities promote employability?’, Theory and Research in Education, 13(3), 267–285.
O’Connor, H. and Bodicoat, M. (2016), ‘Exploitation or opportunity? Student perceptions of internships in enhancing employability skills’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38, 435–449.
Pegg, A., Waldock, J., Hendy-Isaac, S. and Lawton, R. (2012), Pedagogy for Employability, York: The Higher Education Academy.
Roulin, N. and Bangerter, A. (2013), Students’ use of extra-curricular activities for positional advantage in competitive job markets’, Journal of Education and Work, 26(1), 21–47.
Rzemieniak, M. and Wawer, M. (2021), ‘Employer branding in the context of the company’s sustainable development strategy from the perspective of gender diversity of generation Z’, Sustainability, 13(2), 828.
Schein, E. H. (1978), Career Dynamics: Matching Individual and Organisational Needs, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Siebert, S. and Wilson, F. (2013), ‘All work and no pay: consequences of unpaid work in the creative industries’, Work, Employment and Society, 27, 711–721.
Sin, C. and Neave, G. (2016), ‘Employability deconstructed: perceptions of Bologna stakeholders’, Studies in Higher Education, 41(8), 1447–1462.
Smith, S., Smith, C. and Caddell, M. (2015), ‘Can pay, should pay? Exploring employer and student perceptions of paid and unpaid placements’, Active Learning in Higher Education, 16(2), 149–164.
Stoten, D. (2018), ‘Employability: a contested concept in higher education’, Journal of Pedagogic Development, 8(1), 9–17.
Tholen, G. (2012), ‘Graduate employability and educational context: a comparison between Great Britain and the Netherlands’, British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 1–17.
Tomlinson, M. (2008), ‘“The degree is not enough”: students’ perceptions of the role of higher education credentials for graduate work and employability’, British Journal of Sociology Education, 29(1), 49–61.
Tymon, A. (2011), ‘The student perspective on employability’, Studies in Higher Education, 38(6), 1–16.
Walker, M. (2005), Higher Education Pedagogies, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
Yorke, M. (2004/2006), Employability in Higher Education: What It Is – What It Is Not, York: The Higher Education Academy/ESECT.