Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability
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Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability

A Connectedness Learning Approach

Edited by Ruth Bridgstock and Neil Tippett

This book challenges the dominant ‘employability skills’ discourse by exploring socially connected and networked perspectives to learning and teaching in higher education. Both learning and career development happen naturally and optimally in ecologies, informal communities and partnerships. In the digital age, they are also highly networked. This book presents ten empirical case studies of educational practice that investigate the development of learner capabilities, teaching approaches, and institutional strategies in higher education, to foster lifelong graduate employability through social connectedness.
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Chapter 5: Social connectedness and graduate employability: exploring the professional networks of graduates from business and creative industries

Ruth Bridgstock, Denise Jackson, Kate Lloyd and Matalena Tofa

Abstract

Despite widespread recognition of the importance of social networks to career development and professional learning among experienced professionals and graduates alike, there is evidence to suggest that many students complete undergraduate programs with nascent networks at best, and little idea of how to develop and make use of the affordances of face-to-face and online connections for their careers. Drawing upon data from more than 600 surveys of graduates of Bachelor level programs in Creative Industries and Business fields from three Australian universities, this chapter: describes the professional networks of recent graduates; characterises their levels of social capital and benchmarks current graduate connectedness capability levels to identify opportunities for development in degree programs.

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