Learn and Work in the 21’st Century. A Review of Employability Models for HE Graduates: Different Levels of Analysis

Lavinia Cornelia BUTUM, Luminita NICOLESCU


Academic literature recognizes that knowledge is universal and higher education, as the main provider of knowledge and competences, is all the more not constrained by borders. In this regard, meeting the demand for competences is also challenging especially for the graduates of the 21’st century who are confronted with the rapid changes of fourth industrial era economies. We propose a systematic literature review on increasing the employability of HE graduates by selecting relevant studies that analyze the employers, graduates and educators’ perceptions of the employability skills for graduates. Also our investigation includes an analysis of existing graduates’ employability models and proposes a comprehensive extension of these models considering the factors that have implication in increasing the employability. Thus, starting from reviewing the literature on employability on three levels of investigation: HE institutions, policy makers and employers and considering the selected employability models that propose a better design for curricula, our study will continue with creating an integrated employability model that takes into account all the factors identified on employability literature on each level (or main actors that have influence on employability and determine new requirements): HE institutions, policy makers and employers. This approach aims to identify on one hand the necessary skills and competences for increasing HE graduates’ employability in order to reduce the gap between demand and supply of competences on labor market and on the other hand to identify and understand the factors of impact on employability of HE graduates in order to find solutions for achieving employability skills by curricula.

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