Outduction: preparing to leave, graduation and beyond
If you went to university, take a moment to think back to your undergraduate degree, whether that was two or 20 years ago. If you work with students soon to complete a course, think about their concerns and worries. When students come to the end of a course, especially a degree course, do they know exactly what they want to do with their life? How quickly will they make the transition from university to everyday life? Their university experience is likely to have changed their values, beliefs and outlook on life, so how easily will they make the transition post-university? Do they immediately land a job in their chosen career field? Do they land a job that is even degree required? Does that job meet all their expectations of what the working world would be? Alternatively, do they have some feelings of uncertainty, ambiguity and lack of direction? Do they pursue further study because they do not know what else to do, or because they do not want to work in the field of their undergraduate degree? These are just a few questions to gain a perspective into the kind of thought process that university graduates have. But, with today’s generation of young graduates, we also have to consider these questions and emotions coupled with the international economic climate, the large pool of graduates and the massive changes in technology that create and omit jobs fluidly. As someone who personally struggled with the post-undergraduate transition and who is now a higher education practitioner and researcher in this area, I have devoted my efforts to better understanding this transition and how that knowledge can help others. In this chapter, I will discuss general information about the post-university transition, also referred to as outduction, post-undergraduate transition and re-entry, which is a critical stage in the Practitioner Model. I will briefly highlight the research in this area, and then introduce four case studies developed to support students in their transition from university.