Using work-integrated learning to enhance career planning among business undergraduates
Place of Publication
School of Business and Law
Effective career planning among undergraduates is increasingly important amid competitive graduate labour markets and high levels of graduate underemployment. Students must be able to set clearly defined career objectives and be equipped to identify suitable development pathways to achieve their career goals. This study examined the impact of work-integrated learning on student career planning. It focused on the completion of an elective work placement by 102 business undergraduates in a Western Australian university. The study adopted a qualitative approach and used structured reflections to examine how the placement influenced students’ career objectives, developed their self-awareness in the context of career planning, and helped them identify personal development strategies to improve their employment prospects. Drawing on social cognitive career theory, the study advances our understanding of how work-integrated learning can shape undergraduate career objectives and improve currently weak levels of student engagement with career planning. Implications for future career counselling are discussed.