Enhancing perceptions of employability amongst first-year arts students and implications for student belonging

Rachel Busbridge, Ashlee Cunningham, Mark Chou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Despite being a degree that leads to diverse employment in a wide range of industries, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) has long had a bad reputation when it comes to employment outcomes for graduates. The challenge of overcoming this disjuncture has significant implications for current and prospective BA students, especially with respect to attrition and student satisfaction. In this article, we examine whether interventions that highlight the professional outcomes of the BA have the potential to enhance students’ perceived job prospects and sense of belonging in their study. Specifically, we sought to explore whether careers-focused events that introduce Arts students to professionals with a BA qualification can enhance their perceptions of employability and whether these enhanced perceptions of employability help improve their sense of belonging. The findings confirmed that students enrolled in generalist degrees like the BA do have lower perceived future career prospects, but that careers-focused interventions can enhance perceived career prospects as well as produce a higher sense of student belonging.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)792-808
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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