22 SES 08 B, Student Transitions and Graduate Employability
The paper reports an empirical study of students’ experiences of particular courses for career guidance in threeFinnish universities. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the model of pedagogical working life horizon in higher education (Penttinen, Skaniakos & Lairio 2013). The model applies the concept of horizons for action (Hodkinson and Sparkes1997) to the discussion about the influence of social factors on career decisions in career guidance, curriculum and other contexts in higher education. In addition, the model pays attention to students’ future career concerns as the basis for construction of working life orientation. Savickas (2005) suggests that meaningful career planning is based on positive answers to these kinds of fundamental career questions. An adequate working life orientation can assist students in constructing a meaningful life in the years ahead. According to Horn (2009), the aim is to develop students’ understanding of the significance of their prospective career, which in turn requires the creation of a personal career conception, and the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and experiences that will correspond to the individual’s expectations and the labor market.
The empirical study aims to test the model in practice.The aim was to examine students’ experiences of particular working life orientation courses. The research questions were: 1) How much career concern have students had during their studies? 2) How much have particular courses fostered students’ individual working life orientation? 3) How much have other study and working life contexts enabled the reflection of working life orientation?
Hodkinson, P. and A.C. Sparkes. 1997. Careership: A sociological theory of career decision making. British Journal of Sociology of Education 18, no. 1: 29–44.
Horn, J. 2009. Careers education and career-informed degree programmes in higher education. A working paper from the Centre for Career Management Skills, University of Reading.
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