Title page for ETD etd-06292012-135746

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Symington, Nicola
URN etd-06292012-135746
Document Title Investigating graduate employability and psychological career resources
Degree MCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Basson Supervisor
  • career drivers
  • career values
  • career preferences
  • career enablers
  • career harmonisers
  • adaptability
  • psychological career resources
  • employability
  • graduate employability
Date 2012-09-05
Availability unrestricted
University graduates stand at the dawn of their careers, seeking meaningful employment in a labour market that is characterised by volatile change and globalisation. This new world of work requires flexibility, versatility, and creativity ‒ skills not traditionally required of an employee. Graduates today are required to develop a skills-set that enables pro-active career behaviour and, furthermore, aid the employer to utilise such abilities as business solutions. There is a lack of consensual scientific knowledge available on employability, despite the rise in its importance to the 21st century employer and graduate employee. This is especially true for the South African context. Accordingly, the main aim of this study was to investigate the employability and psychological career resources of graduate students to identify the strengths and development areas of the sample. A self-administered questionnaire consisting of standardised instruments, specifically the Psychological Career Resources Inventory (PCRI, developed by Coetzee, 2008) and the Graduate Employability Measure (GEM, developed by Bezuidenhout, 2011), was distributed to a random sample of 113 final-year students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Science of the University of Pretoria. The results indicate a strong employability profile with few clear-cut development areas. Students believe themselves to have high levels of career resilience (mean = 4.94; SD 0.75), whilst also having a strong inclination to the openness to change dimension (mean = 4.86; SD = 0.59), pointing to an overall all adaptable orientation to their careers. In terms of the psychological career resources profile, the sample presented with high scores on all dimensions namely: career preferences, career values, career purpose, career harmonisers, and career drivers. This prevailing positive perception regarding psychological career resources can be seen as balanced, and thus facilitates adaptive, proactive career behaviour, which, in turn, influences general employability. This result is validated by the high mean scores on all employability dimensions. It is also evident that there are no significant differences to be observed between men and women across all dimensions measured, indicating that men and women are equally likely to be proactively involved in their career-management in order to develop the skills required to be seen as employable.

Furthermore, there is evidence of significant relationships between the majority of psychological career resources dimensions and those of the graduate employability dimensions. These results are expected to add valuable insights to the field of career management literature and human resources practices alike, which, in turn, will inform graduates regarding their prospects.

2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Symington, N 2012, Investigating graduate employability and psychological career resources, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06292012-135746/ >


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