Increasing Employability Through Higher Education-Fact or Fiction

Topics: Higher education, Employment, Education Pages: 8 (2293 words) Published: March 22, 2012

Increasing employability through higher education - fact or fiction


Personal details1
Section A [M.C.Q] 1 Section B cover page 2 Title of literature review 2 Table of contents 3 Introduction 4 Definition of terms and variables 5 Literature review 6-10 Research Questions 10 Conclusion 11 References 12-13

Employability in the world is increasingly being scrutinized by scholars, especially its relationship with the potential employee; whether one has to have higher education or not. The concept of employability plays a crucial role in dictating the role and need for higher education. McQuid and Lindsay, (2005, p.197) note that the concept of employability continues to be applied within a range of different contexts and to both those in work and those seeking work. Contention exists regarding what constitutes employability and which graduate attributes are required to foster employability for tertiary students. (Bridgstock, 2009, para 2) This study intends to find literature relevant to ways of increasing employability with a focus on the relevance of higher education.

The purpose of higher education is also being questioned, whether it is to impart knowledge to students or to furnish them with job skills. Kruss (2004,p.63) puts it as having two mandates; the core focus being on general education and a secondary focus on professional education, also called “employability with an indirect link to the labour market model”; a model that assumes that graduates would proceed immediately upon qualifying to the workplace. (Kruss, 2004 pg 63) A comprehensive review of literature dealing with the concept of whether employability can be increased through higher education or not will be done. Different perspectives on higher education and employability will be looked at, as well as their impact on each other. Although literature on the above-mentioned concepts is there, that which relates to South Africa exclusively is limited.

Definition of terms
Employability; Higher education; Employability skills
Employability refers to a graduate’s achievements and his/her potential to obtain a graduate job, and should not be confused with the actual acquisition of a graduate job, which is subject to influences in the environment. Yorke, (2006, 5); Brown,( 1996) as cited in Kruss, (2004p.63) note that with employability, the focus is on skills formation to develop a highly educated workforce that is equipped for greater occupational mobility and flexible work patterns. McQuaid et al, (2005, p.198) relates employability to those in work and seeking to improve or sustain their position in the labour market, in education and out of work. The Confederation of British Industry as cited in (McQuaid et al, 2005 pg 205) views employability as primarily a characteristic of the individual. “Employability is the possession by an individual of the qualities and competences...
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