Sustaining academic professional careers [abstract]

2017-09-01T15:50:26Z (GMT) by Andrew Rothwell Frances M. Rothwell
This chapter explores academic professional life in the UK from the perspective of individual faculty staff . The early part of the twenty-first century marked a critical time for the university sector and its employees, with significant changes resulting in an end to security of tenure for many academics. They may find themselves at risk today not only in terms of a current post, but of their careers and professional stature itself. To support this, we present below a brief review of the broad changes that have affected work and (typically, managerial) careers at the end of the twentieth century. Two concepts are given specific focus: employability, and continuing professional development (CPD). The challenges for academic careers presented by changes in the wider labour market and the implications for career sustainability are also discussed. As a positive perspective on the academic career future, we offer a model of academic employability (see Figure 14.1) developed from previous studies with professional workers, and consider what sorts of CPD activities academics are likely to undertake, and their attitudes to this. The chapter concludes by suggesting that failure to engage in CPD can jeopardize the employability of individual academics, and indeed the sustainability of the higher education (HE) institutions which employ them. Finally, we propose a research agenda.