Vocations and Learning
School of Business and Law / Centre for Innovative Practice
This study explored the extent to which undergraduates demonstrate capabilities associated with professional identity (PI), an individual’s connection with the ideology of professional practice and a critical element of graduate employability. It gathered quantitative and qualitative data from 212 Australian business undergraduates and their workplace supervisors on 17 capabilities associated with PI. It also examined the value of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in developing these capabilities. Findings indicated broad agreement on areas of strength and weakness yet supervisors assigned consistently higher ratings than students. Areas for development aligned with the advanced stages of PI and ratings were fairly uniform by gender, age and business specialisation. International students recorded lower mean ratings in certain capabilities. Both supervisors and, more so, students acknowledged an improvement in capabilities during WIL. Careful consideration of the design and structure of WIL programs is required to ensure development of the full range of capabilities associated with PI...