Grounded in social-cognitive theory, the study reported here explored undergraduate business students' perceptions of their employability and the impact of year of study and gender on these perceptions. 6,004 undergraduate business students enrolled with multiple Australian universities self-assessed their study and career-related confidence using an online, validated measure of perceived employability. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted and five predicted factors were obtained. Multivariate analysis of variance then identified gender and year-of-study differences across five employability factors. The findings highlight gender and year of study differences in students' understanding of how well their programs related to their future careers. The same differences were noted in students’ confidence that their learning tasks were career-relevant and also their confidence that they could apply their learning in a workplace setting. Student confidence that their degree programs were preparing them for graduate life and work lessened as they progressed through their programs. Implications include the need for business educators to be clear about the relevance of each learning and assessment task, and to take a data-driven approach to informing career development learning activities in higher education.
- Higher education
- Perceived employability