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Subject choice motivation and students’ conceptions of employability: thin and thick

Souto-Otero, Manuel ORCID:, Garcia Alvarez, Jesus and Santos Rego, Miguel Angel 2023. Subject choice motivation and students’ conceptions of employability: thin and thick. British Journal of Sociology of Education 44 (4) , pp. 606-630. 10.1080/01425692.2023.2203364
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This study aims to fill a gap in our understanding of the relationship between two major topics in educational research: higher education choices and students’ conceptions of employability. It explores, first, the balance between vocational calling, instrumental considerations and chance in subject choice and, second, the relation between vocational calling and two alternative conceptions of employability (thin and thick) articulated in the article. Using survey data from ‘Education’ students in Spain, the results show an association between a strong of vocational calling in subject choice and a ‘thick’ conception of employability, that goes beyond credential performance and underlines the importance of an economy of experience. By contrast, students with lower vocational calling adopt a narrower (’thin’) conception of employability, based on credential performance. The consequences of these results for theory and for practice are discussed, highlighting the need to better acknowledge the role of interests, and not only skills, in the employability agenda.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 0142-5692
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 16 February 2023
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 01:26

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