The Building of a Professional: Creating Greater Career Identity Within a Degree

The International Journal of Learning, Vol. 16, No. 10, pp. 253-266, 2009

4 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2009 Last revised: 23 Nov 2015

See all articles by Brett Freudenberg

Brett Freudenberg

Griffith University - Griffith Business School; Griffith University - Griffith Law School

Mark Brimble

Griffith University - School of Accounting, Banking and Finance - Nathan and Logan Campuses; Centre for Financial Independence and Education

Craig Cameron

Griffith University

Date Written: August 24, 2009

Abstract

The skills required by a student to excel both academically and in their chosen professional careers have been identified by many institutions, and can be referred to as ‘generic capabilities’. These generic capabilities can extend from interpersonal skills, problem solving, oral communication and career skills. In recent years concerns have been raised about a gap emerging between graduate attributes developed in university degrees and what industry requires (Yap, 1997; Albrecht and Sack, 2000; Kavanagh and Drennen, 2008). This is often referred to as a lack of ‘employment readiness’ of students and the need to engage industry with students and the curriculum. Such a concern was highlighted in the 2007 report titled ‘Graduate Employability Skills’ prepared for the Business, Industry and Higher Education Collaboration Council. One of the generic skills of concern is career skills, which relates to knowledge of the relevant profession, the ability to interact with the profession and seek a career.

To address this concern a Professional Development Program (the PD Program) was developed. The PD Program is integrated into a Business Degree and is designed to systematically develop students’ learning, employment and generic skills and supplements their theoretical studies. It is argued that this integration of the PD Program permeating the Degree enhances students’ generic capabilities, including their career skills.

This paper details the procedures that have been developed, and provides preliminary evidence that the PD Program has, from the perspective of students, made a substantial contribution to the building of a ‘professional’. In particular, we argue that integrating professional skills and awareness systematically into an undergraduate degree in partnership with industry has developed students’ generic capabilities, improved their employment readiness and provided students with a greater understanding of their future profession.

Keywords: Professional Identity, WIL, graduate attributes

JEL Classification: I20, M49

Suggested Citation

Freudenberg, Brett and Brimble, Mark and Cameron, Craig, The Building of a Professional: Creating Greater Career Identity Within a Degree (August 24, 2009). The International Journal of Learning, Vol. 16, No. 10, pp. 253-266, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1460708 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1460708

Brett Freudenberg

Griffith University - Griffith Business School ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4111
Australia

Griffith University - Griffith Law School ( email )

Nathan Campus, GU
Nathan 4111
Australia

Mark Brimble (Contact Author)

Griffith University - School of Accounting, Banking and Finance - Nathan and Logan Campuses ( email )

University Drive
Logan, Queensland 4131
Australia
(07) 373 55311 (Phone)

Centre for Financial Independence and Education ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4111
Australia

Craig Cameron

Griffith University ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4111
Australia
55587623 (Phone)

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