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Graduate WorkSkills, Credentials, Careers, and Labour Markets$
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Gerbrand Tholen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198744481.001.0001

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Graduate Occupations

Graduate Occupations

Chapter:
(p.112) 7 Graduate Occupations
Source:
Graduate Work
Author(s):

Gerbrand Tholen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198744481.003.0007

This chapter examines the notion of graduate occupations and examines how occupational boundaries are structured within the four occupations. Various existing analytical approaches link graduate occupations to skills use or requirements, high autonomy, or the prevalence of degree holders. These classifications cannot deal very well with the fact that what counts as graduate labour in a graduatizing and competitive labour market is symbolically negotiated (and therefore socially constructed). On top of this, substantive differences in skill requirements and job tasks make the use of existing classifications for distinguishing the graduate and non-graduate occupations challenging. The chapter also shows that many graduate occupations may lack the organizational power, occupational identity, or knowledge base for professionalization to develop.

Keywords:   graduate occupations, professionalization, graduate work, social construction, scientists, software engineers, financial analysts, press officers

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