A model of employability for part-time learners in higher education: antecedents and outcomes

Whitton, Dawn (2020) A model of employability for part-time learners in higher education: antecedents and outcomes. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Graduate employability has generated interest within both the academic and business context as well as the wider economy and government policy. Tomlinson (2017) claims that the interest in the subject area of graduate employability has escalated since the start of this century due to the strengthening of the relationship between higher education (HE) and the economy. The context and potential impact of graduate employability is evidently far-reaching and consequently there is a plurality of literature, which attempts to conceptualise the factors and dimensions of graduate employability. However, this is predominantly focussed on full-time students with very little empirical research relating to part-time students despite the contribution such learners can make to the economy (Bennion, Scesa and Williams, 2011).
This thesis therefore seeks to bridge a gap in the conceptualisations of employability and offers an empirically tested model of employability for part-time students. This has been undertaken through adopting a positivist research philosophy and quantitative research methodology. Data collection comprised the distribution of a questionnaire to part-time students studying at three HEIs from which 369 responses were received. The data from this was analysed through exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to reduce the number of variables and create a revised questionnaire and conceptual model of employability for part-time students. The second phase of the study comprised the distribution of the revised questionnaire to empirically test the conceptual model. This was undertaken by means of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine and test the posited model through hypotheses testing. The research therefore offers an empirically tested model of employability for part-time learners, which will further contribute to existing conceptualisations of employability. The model identifies five key dimensions for career enhancement being: ambition, determination, confidence, commitment and knowledge and networks which are presented in the ‘Career Enhancement Model of Employability for part-time students’ (CEME). A validated measurement tool and empirically tested model is the final outcome of this research which makes a contribution to both knowledge and professional practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Career enhancement, Career readiness, Graduate capital, Graduate employability, Career enhancement model of employability for part-time students (CEME)
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 08:49
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 09:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43889

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