Research into the diversification of university careers in learning and teaching and intentionally closing-the-loop on graduate employability

James Arvanitakis, Madelaine-Marie Judd, Shelley Kinash, Trina Jorre de st Jorre, Trish McCluskey



Universities are both a source of employable graduates and careers. This paper examines universities as developers and employers of their own graduates from the perspective of employees and recruited positions. Research questions were: what do learning and teaching careers look like at universities, and; what are the occupational patterns, satisfactions and concerns of the staff in those careers? An autoethnographic account of employees’ career journeys (all of whom were employed in learning and teaching or closely related areas) from five different universities were shared, compared and contrasted. Two of these universities are profiled as having a large proportion of students from target equity groups and therefore have intentionally recruited learning and teaching staff to widen student participation. A desktop review of six months of university employment vacancies from these two universities was conducted. A consistent theme across the autoethnographic stories was a feeling of being an outsider. The authors’ hypothesis is that this is related to haphazard preparation for learning and teaching positions. Of the 322 university vacancies, 84% were for professional staff, 23% of which were in learning and teaching, with the most prevalent role being Coordinator. Fourteen per cent were for academic staff, 64% of which involved learning and teaching, and the most prevalent title was Lecturer/Senior Lecturer. Key takeaways include recommendations for universities to intentionally enhance the employability of graduates who pursue learning and teaching positions within universities, and for prospective university learning and teaching staff to enhance their employability.


employability; careers; universities; higher education; academics; professionals; citizen scholars; pedagogists

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