How individual experiential backgrounds are related to the development of employability among university students
University students have different backgrounds and varied experiences. This diversity has frequently been examined with regard to performance in Higher Education. However, much less attention has been paid to its significance concerning employability. The investigation of this potential relationship is the focus of this study. In this research, 429 students at a German university were assessed on the strength of their employability, which here is defined as a multi-factorial construct. The Career Resources Questionnaire (CRQ) was used (Hirschi et al., 2019) which is a comprehensive instrument that analyses the self-assessed strength of twelve essential career resources amongst respondents. The results were then related to several individual preconditions: existing or non-existing commitment to voluntary work, sporting activity or sporting inactivity and being a first-generation student (FGS) or a continuing-generation student (CGS). These characteristics were chosen, because they are commonly represented in the student population. In addition, some socio-economic implications are discussed. Significant differences were found between the participant groups. Some results correspond with the findings of existing studies, others lead to new explanatory approaches. Based on the overall findings, recommendations for career counselling as well as for seminars in career orientation are given. For example, students' experiences outside the university environment can be used in career counselling to strengthen perceived employability or a supportive approach to first-generation students can lead to the development of career-related strengths.
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