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Building career capital through further study in Australia and Singapore

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Abstract:

In modern society, individuals are having to assume increasing responsibility for their own career trajectories. One of the key ways in which individuals can engage in such ‘career self-management’ is by taking up learning opportunities through further study. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to explore, using the conceptual framework of career capital, ways in which samples of adults in Australia and Singapore perceive that they are self-managing and leveraging their careers through continuing education, and the nature of the career capital they are accumulating. It draws on data from two different research projects undertaken in Australia and Singapore. These projects involved individuals who had undertaken studies in two different educational sectors: the academic and the vocational. Australian respondents (n=190) had studied in both the vocational education and training (VET) and the higher education (HE) sectors; Singaporean respondents (n=101) had graduated from both the formal tertiary education (PET) and the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) sectors. Data were gathered through online surveys and in-depth interviews. Based on the reports from these samples, the study found that the building of career capital was being played out relatively consistently despite educational, political and cultural differences, but that different emphases were placed on the types of career capital, with ‘knowing-how’ the most important.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2012.753124

Affiliations: 1: University of South Australia, Australia 2: Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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