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Generic skill development & career education : making a link

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by J Murry
The issue of preparing students for work is often enmeshed in ideology about the role of the university. This debate is quickly losing relevance though, as universities are expected to exhibit greater accountability, and funding becomes linked to performance. Developing generic or transferable skills is often presented as a way of smoothing the transition from university to work. Yet how do we develop these skills in our students? One method has been to have academics incorporate generic skill development into the curriculum, but this is often not successful because the generic skill development is implicit, rather than explicit, in the course design and assessment. The alternative approach is to teach generic skills as a separate subject, but research has shown that teaching skills without a context has poor results. Another path is offered here. This is to teach career education or career management as a separate topic, thereby providing a sound context for developing generic skills. Accelerating changes in employment practices mean that traditional career choice methods are becoming irrelevant. Maintaining a career means having a sound knowledge of the employment environment, keeping your skills relevant, and being adaptable and flexible. Workers must now take responsibility for their own career management. The contract that provided lifelong employment for hard-working, loyal employees no longer exists (Waterman et al., 1994). These changes in education, business and the world of work suggest that career skills are quickly becoming needed as another a [sic] generic skill.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)



Appleton K; Macpherson C; Orr D

Parent Title

Lifelong Learning Conference : selected papers from the inaugural international Lifelong Learning Conference, Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia, 17-19 July 2000, hosted by Central Queensland University

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages


Start Date





Yeppoon, Qld.


Lifelong Learning Conference Committee, Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Qld.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

Lifelong Learning Conference

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