Undergraduates' Expectations on Their Oncoming Employability
ABSTRACT Employability of students is becoming one of the key measurements of education quality today. In the time of the transforming relationship between higher education and labour market the new kind of mentality, certain type of knowledge and skills are necessary to adjust to change and stay afloat. This paper examines the way students perceive and manage their employability, preparing for the transition from the higher education into the labour market. It is based on the study of 139 undergraduates of the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Russia. The participants answered a questionnaire about their oncoming employability – how they approach and construct it, and what role they attribute to the higher educational setting in fostering it. So, the questions were categorised into three blocks: • labour market orientations; • labour market strategies; • evaluation of educational outcomes. The study revealed students’ general optimism and belief in their strengths. At the same time entrance into the labour market is viewed as a challenge. Hence, students appear to use strategic behaviour to increase the number of their “selling points”. Despite the respondents' positive thinking about the future on the labour market, they are less confident about the probability to find the job they like. Moreover, receiving employment overseas rather than on the domestic job market is preferred by a considerable number of the respondents. Besides, some employability qualities of the participants were found to be underdeveloped inside academia. Thus, educational and social policy should pay closer attention to employability enhancement and providing guarantees for graduate employment.