Monday, 2 April 2012

Age and first destination employment from UK universities: are mature students disadvantaged?

an article by Ruth Woodfield (University of Sussex, Brighton) published in Studies in Higher Education Volume 36 Number 4 (June 2011) [NB: Despite being nearly a year old I thought this worthy of inclusion]


This article analyses a recent cohort (2006) of UK graduates, and explores the previously neglected relationship between age and post-degree employment. Much work on mature students assumes their overall experience to be one of disadvantage relative to traditional-age graduates, and this includes employability research.

Here, mature students are demonstrated to be advantaged in the graduate labour market through analysis of a wide range of variables and employment success measures, utilised to produce a detailed set of findings that augment previous understanding.

Mature graduates, regardless of whether they studied part- or full-time, secured paid work, graduate-level work, and a higher salary more frequently. Key mediating factors in their success include being a woman science student and having a history of previous employment with their post-degree employer.

The relative employment success of mature students could not, however, be explained simply as a result of them already being in pre-degree graduate-level jobs.

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