Differences in self-perceived employability between university and VET students: an analysis of emerging adults in Spain
Purpose: The present study analyzes differences in Self-perceived employability (SPE) among Spanish university and vocational education and training (VET) students. It also aims to determine whether factors such as gender, work experience and perceptions of the precariousness of the job market have a differential effect on SPE in accordance with the training pathway chosen by emerging adults.
Design/methodology/approach: A total of 1,715 university students (64.7% women) and 488 VET students (37.1% women) aged between 18 and 29 years completed a selfadministered questionnaire that included measures of perceived employability and precarious employment.
Findings: The results indicate higher SPE among VET students than among their university counterparts, and female university students scored lower also than their male colleagues, an effect that was not observed among VET students. Prior work experience improved internal SPE among students on both training pathways. However, among university students, work experience and precarious employment reduced external SPE, an affect that was not observed among VET students.
Originality: This is one of the first studies to analyze the perceived employability of emerging adults on two different training pathways in Spain.
Practical implications: The analysis of differences in SPE between university and VET students highlights the importance of an educational curriculum that includes practical competences for enhancing employability. The results also reflect the negative consequences of precarious employment on feelings of employability during this life stage, particularly among those studying at university.
Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation
European Regional Development Fund (EDU2013- 45687-R and RTI2018-097405-B-I00)
- Business and Economics