Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Higher Education




School of Business and Law




This is an Authors Accepted Manuscript version of an article published by Springer in Higher Education.

This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:

Jackson, D., & Dean, B. A. (2022). Employability-related activities beyond the curriculum: How participation and impact vary across diverse student cohorts. Higher Education, 86, 1151–1172.


Higher education is increasingly concerned withproviding students with experiences that enhance employability. Sitting outsidethe curriculum, extra- or co-curricular activities that focus on career development,leadership, service or recognition can lead to positive employability andemployment outcomes. The extent to which different student groups have accessto and participate in these employability-related activities (ERAs) isunderexplored, along with their relative gains in the labour market. Thisresearch surveyed 84,000 graduates in Australia on their participation invarious activity types and the impact on their sense of preparedness for workand labour force outcomes. Findings demonstrate that over one-half ofrespondents participated in an ERA with groups tending to favour differentactivity types. Overall, the greatest differences in participation were observedby age, gender, disability, citizenship and socio-economic background. Activitiesimpacted differently on employment outcomes with graduates from regional areas,of low socio-economic status and with disability garnering strong benefits. Club/societyroles, leadership/award and mentoring programmes offered valuable developmentopportunities for most graduates, with less favourable outcomes reported forvolunteering and micro-credentials. The study provides important informationfor designing ERAs that can be more easily accessed by increasingly diversecohorts and that better support lifelong learning and transition to work forall students.