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postgraduate thesis: Careers and a knowledge society : case study of the impact of education on capacity building for work

TitleCareers and a knowledge society : case study of the impact of education on capacity building for work
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lee, M. M. [李慕蘭]. (2015). Careers and a knowledge society : case study of the impact of education on capacity building for work. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689273
AbstractTraditionally, university graduates take up employment relevant to their major or professional training or both. Towards the end of the last century and the beginning of the twenty-first, the trend is taking an about-turn. Along with technological advancement and the development of the knowledge society, there have also been an increasing number of graduates engaged in fields that may bear little or no relevance to their undergraduate or even postgraduate study. While this could be a sign of failure of the education system where vocationally, the graduate has no choice but to make a living with whatever he or she manages to secure, the trend may denote the contrary. Education may be such that graduates demonstrate both adaptability and versatility in the workplace. The trend then could well be a compliment on the university curriculum that has equipped the graduate with knowledge, skills and attributes broad enough to make them widely applicable and transferable. This qualitative research, conducted by means of semi-structured interviews of graduates of a local secondary school for girls who have all attained tertiary qualifications and professional or vocational experience but with a diverse career path, aims to study the impact of education on capacity building for work. The direction higher education might take to cater for the aspirations of individuals, the expectations of graduate attributes seen through the eyes of the informants and the needs of the workplace of the twenty-first century have been explored in the study. Through in-depth interviews, the informants shared and critically reflected on their personal experiences at school and at work. Analysis of the findings reveals that, among other significant considerations, their moving from one job or career to another is essentially a matter of fulfilling the quest for new challenges and self-actualization beyond mere security, satisfaction and even outstanding achievements in a field for which their initial qualification has prepared them. The informants‟ views converge that, while the factors “secondary education”, “undergraduate programme” and “workplace or on-the-job training” are all relevant and crucial to their capacity building for work, the collective impact of secondary schooling and undergraduate study figures prominently in facilitating their versatility and flexibility in a diverse career path. To a large extent, the two phases of education the informants went through during their formative years have furnished them with capabilities and attributes commonly cited in the literature as critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the twenty-first century workplace, motivating them to continue expanding their horizons and breaking new grounds in work and life.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCollege graduates - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222359

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLee, Mo-lan, Monica-
dc.contributor.author李慕蘭-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-13T01:23:11Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-13T01:23:11Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationLee, M. M. [李慕蘭]. (2015). Careers and a knowledge society : case study of the impact of education on capacity building for work. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689273-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222359-
dc.description.abstractTraditionally, university graduates take up employment relevant to their major or professional training or both. Towards the end of the last century and the beginning of the twenty-first, the trend is taking an about-turn. Along with technological advancement and the development of the knowledge society, there have also been an increasing number of graduates engaged in fields that may bear little or no relevance to their undergraduate or even postgraduate study. While this could be a sign of failure of the education system where vocationally, the graduate has no choice but to make a living with whatever he or she manages to secure, the trend may denote the contrary. Education may be such that graduates demonstrate both adaptability and versatility in the workplace. The trend then could well be a compliment on the university curriculum that has equipped the graduate with knowledge, skills and attributes broad enough to make them widely applicable and transferable. This qualitative research, conducted by means of semi-structured interviews of graduates of a local secondary school for girls who have all attained tertiary qualifications and professional or vocational experience but with a diverse career path, aims to study the impact of education on capacity building for work. The direction higher education might take to cater for the aspirations of individuals, the expectations of graduate attributes seen through the eyes of the informants and the needs of the workplace of the twenty-first century have been explored in the study. Through in-depth interviews, the informants shared and critically reflected on their personal experiences at school and at work. Analysis of the findings reveals that, among other significant considerations, their moving from one job or career to another is essentially a matter of fulfilling the quest for new challenges and self-actualization beyond mere security, satisfaction and even outstanding achievements in a field for which their initial qualification has prepared them. The informants‟ views converge that, while the factors “secondary education”, “undergraduate programme” and “workplace or on-the-job training” are all relevant and crucial to their capacity building for work, the collective impact of secondary schooling and undergraduate study figures prominently in facilitating their versatility and flexibility in a diverse career path. To a large extent, the two phases of education the informants went through during their formative years have furnished them with capabilities and attributes commonly cited in the literature as critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the twenty-first century workplace, motivating them to continue expanding their horizons and breaking new grounds in work and life.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshCollege graduates - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleCareers and a knowledge society : case study of the impact of education on capacity building for work-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5689273-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5689273-

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