Undergraduate Science Students' Perceptions of Employability: Efficacy of an Intervention

Mahbub Sarkar, Tina Overton, Christopher Thompson, Gerry Rayner

Abstract


In a recent paper, we reported on the skills needs for graduate employability, as identified from surveys of employers and recent science graduates. In this paper, we report on the outcomes of an intervention designed to address students’ skills needs and analyse if it had any impact on their notions of employability. The intervention, conducted as a day-long workshop, was delivered to three groups of third- and fourth-year science students. We used quantitative data to track possible differences in students’ self-perceptions of their employability following participation in the intervention. In addition, qualitative data, collected through students’ reflective notes, provided insights into how they perceived the value of the intervention in improving their self-perceived employability. Both data types indicate a positive impact of this type of intervention on students’ perceptions of their employability and related underpinning skills. Our findings call for a broader integration and evaluation of targeted ‘employability’ workshops into senior undergraduate or capstone-style curricula.

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