Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Study Hard for Smooth Transition to Job Market

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Study Hard for Smooth Transition to Job Market

Article excerpt

It may no longer be true - if it ever was - that obtaining a degree will guarantee you a job, but being "academically engaged" may mean that students have a smaller chance of being unemployed, in debt and still living at home after graduation.

A new US study, "Documenting uncertain times: Post-graduate transitions of the academically adrift cohort", says that many students fail to develop practical skills in areas such as critical thinking and written communication during their time in higher education.

The authors - including Richard Arum, professor of sociology and education at New York University, and Josipa Roksa, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia - tracked what they call the "academically adrift" cohort, who began their degrees in the 2005-06 academic year, to assess how they had fared after graduation.

They employed the Collegiate Learning Assessment, which is used in the US to determine the "value added" to students' skills by their university experience, and found that those who scored in the bottom quintile were three times more likely to be unemployed than those in the top quintile.

The survey of nearly 1,000 students also revealed that only 6. …

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