A comparative institutional analysis on strategies that graduates use to show they are ‘employable’: a critical discussion on the cases of Australia, Japan, and Vietnam

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    Employability has become a key concept that has attracted the attention of scholars and industries in many countries. At the same time, this concept is highly fluid and vague because its nature is not evidenced by real employment and differences in the nature of labour markets from country to country. Thus, it would be more worthwhile to discuss strategies that graduates utilise while job hunting in order to show how employable they are, and then compare these strategies across countries. Therefore, in this study, the aim is to compare the strategic tendencies of graduates entering the labour markets in three countries: Australia, Japan, and Vietnam. To this end, a comparative institutional analysis is performed. Through the investigation, three types of strategy are identified. In Australia, as the market tends to consist of various competitors with different experiences, graduates must differentiate themselves from others. In Japan, the market consists of competitors from the same academic year cohort and employment tends to be more long term, so employment is seen more as a type of membership, where one must match the corporate culture. In Vietnam, as trust in universities is low in terms of their training programmes and little support is provided, university students utilise their human networks for entry into the labour market and demonstrate their capacity for growth during a probation period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-382
    Number of pages14
    JournalHigher Education Research & Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • comparative institutional analysis
    • Employability
    • job hunting
    • labour market

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