Understanding the impact of careers focused classes on undergraduate science students

Angela Ziebell

Abstract


Bringing context-based learning into the university exposes students as to how and why the outside world uses science. Overtly training students to understand how their transferable skills are needed, and how transferable skills allow them to make the most of their discipline knowledge/skills, is the next step. In Science faculties around Australia a tension still exists between the purpose of universities in this space. Through mixed methods work I’m investigating the synergistic value of giving students an understanding of Australian workplaces, by bringing them closer to their future employers while they study. This includes overt careers skills training, internship programs and “students meet industry” sessions.

I will present how a career skills unit/class increases a student’s understanding of the value of their degree and their employment options. This is a win for the university, the students and the workforce in general. Through reflections I will also present insights into how students can be profoundly affected by having the professional world of world explained to them. As research intensive universities grapple with their role in the intersection between education and employability, these insights can ensure we act on pedagogically sound data, not trends.

Keywords


Transferable skills, Careers, Science undergraduates

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