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Article

‘It’s Scary and It’s Big, and There’s No Job Security’: Undergraduate Experiences of Career Planning and Stratification in an English Red Brick University

by 1,* and 2
1
Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
2
Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(10), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100173
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Stratification and Inequality in Access to Higher Education)
There is a continuing trend within higher education policy to frame undergraduate study as ‘human capital investment’—a financial transaction whereby the employment returns of a degree are monetary. However, this distinctly neoliberal imaginary ignores well-established information asymmetries in choice, non-monetary drivers for education, as well as persistent inequalities in access, participation, and outcome. Non-linearity and disadvantage are a central feature of both career trajectory and graduate employment. This paper draws on the findings of a longitudinal, qualitative project that followed 40 undergraduate, home students over a period of four years in an English Red Brick University. Exploring the nature of career development over the whole student lifecycle and into employment, the paper examines how career strategies are experienced by lower-income students and their higher-income counterparts. It provides a typology of career planning and, in comparing the experiences of lower- and higher-income students, demonstrates some of the processes through which financial capacity and socio-economic background can impact on career planning and graduate outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: higher education; employability; stratification; human capital theory; occupational choice; careers higher education; employability; stratification; human capital theory; occupational choice; careers
MDPI and ACS Style

Hordósy, R.; Clark, T. ‘It’s Scary and It’s Big, and There’s No Job Security’: Undergraduate Experiences of Career Planning and Stratification in an English Red Brick University. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 173. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100173

AMA Style

Hordósy R, Clark T. ‘It’s Scary and It’s Big, and There’s No Job Security’: Undergraduate Experiences of Career Planning and Stratification in an English Red Brick University. Social Sciences. 2018; 7(10):173. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100173

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hordósy, Rita, and Tom Clark. 2018. "‘It’s Scary and It’s Big, and There’s No Job Security’: Undergraduate Experiences of Career Planning and Stratification in an English Red Brick University" Social Sciences 7, no. 10: 173. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100173

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