Focusing in on employability: using content analysis to explore the employability discourse in UK and USA universities

Deesha Chadha*, James Toner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
225 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this paper, we have taken initial steps towards highlighting the employability discourse in higher education by using content analysis to explore website data at 40 higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK and 40 HEIs in the USA by searching for ‘employability’ in respective web engines. The findings from our preliminary data analysis were inserted into a MIT SIMILE software package to create a bespoke, interactive webpage that could be disseminated for discussion by higher education managers. The initial findings suggest that, in the UK, the broad discourse is centred upon government policies and targeted preparation for employment while in the USA it is centred upon the institutional vision and social inclusion agenda. Recent graduates’ views were sought on these initial findings to validate whether their experiences corroborated with our suggested employability discourse claims. These insights are a useful first step for HEIs to question and re-evaluate employability at an institutional level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Pages (from-to)14-33
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date11 Sept 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Comparative study
  • Content analysis
  • Employability
  • Neoliberal agenda
  • SIMILE software

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