Information management graduates' accounts of their employability: A case study from the university of sheffield

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Cox, A.M. ; Al Daoud, M. ; Rudd, S. (2013)
  • Publisher: IOS Press

Ensuring that graduates are employable is an important priority for universities. It is challenging for fields such as Information Management (IM), that are not fully understood by employers and where there is no very clearly defined entry level job market. This paper takes a graduate identity perspective to explore how IM graduates from the iSchool at the University of Sheffield themselves constructed their own employability. 13 in-depth interviews were analysed thematically and discursively. Graduates often saw IM as a broad introduction to a range of career paths, without fully preparing them for any single one. The most powerful articulations of IM were as a set of personal information management practices that could have significant organisational impact. IM was also seen to produce effective habits of communication that those from alternative graduate backgrounds lacked. In contrast there was little evidence of use of use of discourses around being digital natives to explain their employability. Exploring how graduates themselves go on to explain the value of their studies is key to understanding how to support the transition into work more effectively, e.g. by encouraging students to articulate their skills more effectively. © 2013-IOS Press and the authors.
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