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Title: What is the professional identity of careers advisers in higher education? : challenges and opportunities for careers service leaders and managers
Author: Thambar, Nalayini Pushpam
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 5930
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2016
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This aim of this study is to understand the professional identity of careers advisers in UK universities, at a time of unprecedented interest in employability across the sector following an increase in undergraduate tuition fees in England. The research question is “What is the professional identity of careers advisers in higher education in the ‘new’ employability climate? Opportunities and challenges for careers service leaders and managers.” Here, professional identity is defined as ‘the experience and self-understanding of those fulfilling a particular occupational role’. The study is qualitative, using the methodological approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The areas of literature that have been reviewed relate to the nature and development of the professions and the development of individual and collective professional identity. The history of the careers adviser role within the UK education system also provides context. Data was collected in summer 2012 through interviews with 21 careers advisers from 14 universities across England, Wales and Scotland using a stratified sample based on league table data. This study makes a contribution to knowledge by suggesting a professional identity for careers advisers which is Undefined, Parochial, Unrecognised and Unconfident yet Dedicated, and by making recommendations for leaders and managers, and careers advisers themselves, to consider in their approaches to staff development, (self-) advocacy and connection with broader institutional priorities. Such approaches do not conflict with a primary purpose of ‘helping students’ and can serve to strengthen the impact and influence of careers advisers as experts who address the increasingly critical employability agenda.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Recommendations ; Management ; University ; Higher education ; Careers ; Adviser ; Interpretative ; Phenomenological ; Analysis ; Professional identity