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Factors Influencing Graduate Employability

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Describe about the Factors Influencing Graduate Employability Within an Open-Distance Learning (ODL) Institution?



This literature review deals with some factors of distance learning in higher education. There are some factors of influences in order to provide distance education for the students. As defined by Brynteson (2013), employability is a set of skill and ability that helps to search proper and accurate employment and obtain new types of employment in accordance with the knowledge and experiences. Employability of a student also depends on the quality of higher education within all countries of the world.

Different types of employability are there. Here the author has discussed about the Institutional employability. Different higher education has been ranked by the amount of the employability of their graduates and post graduates. Higher educated people have been considered as an effective employee of any organization of his/her specialized area of expertise. Process of employability development in some higher institutions is often considered as explicit and integral to the education. Some subjects’ area has structured training and development program for developing the skills of employment in future area. Nursing, teaching, law have constructed some area of practical work as this will benefit the students during his/her employment (Cai, 2012).

As stated by, Carroll (2011) employability of graduates and other higher degree holders are considered as a remarkable benchmark in order to measure the quality of higher education. Now days, the process of open and Distance learning has been increased. Basically, the purpose of distance learning is to provide education worldwide to all sorts of people of every age. Students from Distance universities also get job in various sectors of employment. These distance universities are trying to meet the global demand of education across the globe.

However, distance learning education has several issues in order to produce more effective education in accordance with the pre determined goal of program. Drop out and late completion of some students has become a serious issue within the sector of distance learning.  Open and Distance Learning program has been set for the individual learners in order to compete with other learners. The motto of Open and Distance education is to provide education for all individual learners within the period of life. There have been research and literature about higher education and employability skills of the employees. However, open and Distance Learning education have faced some problems during providing employment opportunities to the learners. This portion of literature therefore focuses upon the factors influencing graduate employability within an open-distance learning institution and learning procedure (Cambridge Employability Skills Framework, 2015).

Reviewing literatures:

As stated by,D'souza et al. (2013) the concept of employability therefore is related to the concept of professional success. Employability is not all about the achievement of the particular institution. Various stakeholders of an educational institution like graduates, students, project managers, project coordinator and employers, academics etc. Concept of employability therefore involves with the activity of gaining employment rate, objectives of the employers and the success factor of the job as well as relevant skills of the employers.

Therefore, effectiveness of employability among institutional sector refers to the efficiency and effectiveness of the institution in order to develop and trained the graduates who are employable for different organizations. Different ways have been stated by, Estelami (2013) in order to analyze the effectiveness of institution and the process of learning of those institution including distance learning centre. Employability skills refers to the skills those help a student to find a suitable job. For this case, the effectiveness of institution should be calculated by the proportion of graduates within the institution. In case of measuring the attributes of graduates, the effectiveness of institution should be indicated by a survey among the satisfaction process of graduates of the institution. On the other hand, Frith and Clark (2013) stated that, for this purpose, an audit of the opportunities of development should be indicated by the institution. Satisfaction of graduates throughout the study of the program should be considered in order to investigate the effectiveness of institution.

On the other hand, Fugate et al. (2004) stated that, a magic bullet model of employability effectiveness has been done in order to understand the effectiveness of employment rates of higher educational institutions. Employability development opportunities and the institution of higher education as well as graduate employer have interconnection and relation in order to investigate the effectiveness of higher education in distance form or regular form upon the learners.  

As stated by, Haverila (2010), employability can be refereed as a difficult and complex phenomenon. It is very difficult process to define for the sake of employers and learners. Policy makers and employers have faced several issues for this difficult process of employability. Employability often overlooks the subjective dimension of employability. Employability also refers to the severe understanding about the perception of the employers and current state and condition of the market where the employer is going to enter in order to perform the duties and responsibilities. The labor market should be understood by the learners properly. Attitudes, current position, beliefs and position within competitive market sector have to be considered by the employer. Several types of policy on employability have been built with the assumptions of human capital. This has been built by the experience of individual within the labor market.

On the other hand, Yasmin (2013) argued that, students further develop their individual narratives for the progress of their career. Several problems on employability and career development have remained problems of individual students. Various institutions of employability use their personal resources and agency in order to negotiate with the graduates.

As per discussed by, Wye and Lim (2009) huge growth in undergraduate education of business has matched with the higher education. UK government has taken initiative in order to promote the Business and Management Education within the higher education format. It can be stated as a long term aspect of trend.

According to, Wilton (2011) several employability skills are referred as transferable skills of every individuals. Employability skills refer to the skills of problem solving of an individual. Written communication skills, spoken communication skills are also refereed as employability or transferable skills of individuals. Foreign language skills, numeracy and basic literacy of computer are also considered as basic employability skills of individuals. On the other hand, skills of information technology and several skills of software have also refereed as employability skills. Research skills, creativity and team work have been considered as the basic skills of employability as transferable skills of individuals.

Employability skills are the transferable skills those influence over the job structure of the learners. Therefore, the employed organization needs to take prior decision in order to know the capabilities and skills of the graduates and higher educated candidates. Practical knowledge and experience have considered by the employer organization. However, higher degree of the employer is also been considered by the employed organization. Therefore, the purpose of employed organization needs to take it a prior decision to take the employees in order to consider the predetermined objectives of the organization (Wilton, 2008).

Employability skills always should be considered by the organization that is going to hire the candidates for the purpose of the business organization. 

As per the discussion of, Gil-Jaurena (2013), global tendency of various employer agencies is to hire the higher graduates for their effective employability skills. Therefore, graduate employability has become the benchmark for all the organization who regularly hires all those higher educated people for the purpose of their organization. However, the policies and strategies of higher education and the quality of higher education are the subject of discussion.

Therefore, in the case of distance learning education, several problems have faced by the students. Foreign education or distance learning education can be refereed as a mode of education where the students are not physically present in the traditional class room set up. This process of education is beyond the process of traditional class room teaching. This education has been based upon the direction or instruction of the teacher or teaching faculty. This education has no necessity of delivering education within the class room or any other form of traditional room. This education is therefore open for all of different ages, location and mentality (Harvey, 2001).

On the other hand, Morrison (2012) argued that, distance higher learning delivers the access of all the sources of information to the learners while the learners and the sources of learning are both estranged from the space and time. Online courses is involved under the distance learning education those provide huge scale of interaction of all learners through effective medium of internet r online.

At the very beginning, Morrison (2012) stated that, this type of course, learners had to attain certain classes during one or two times of a year. This process is also continued by some universities of developing countries, like India. Therefore, with the trend of online activities, process of online courses have been increased that much, most of the learners are tended towards the online courses of various universities.

However, the employability skills of distance learners are not as effective as the skills of regular students. There are many socio, technological factor those influence over the learners and the process of distance learning within various countries of world. As discussed by () distance education lacks from face to face interaction of the student and teacher. Therefore the advantage of traditional method of regular teaching is that the students can put their questions about their study material to the teacher and they get answers from the teacher instantly. However, this facility is not presented in the process or strategy of the distance learning. Therefore, for eradicating this problem, multiple facilities like web chat, chartrooms, and blogging have been introduced in the process of distance learning (Kumar and Lin, 2013).

Various studies have discussed that, the students of medical and other practical related subject require face to face communication with the learners of their courses. However, Hosseini and Rezaei (2010) discussed that, the teacher often finds it difficult to provide distance learning process to the learners. Studies have been stated that, the rate of the drop out of students is also high than the traditional method of learning. Employer organization also states that they have no belief in the process of online courses.

According to, Kruss (2004) they often find it difficult to choose higher educated people from the online courses. They state that there are some gaps between the traditional method of teaching and distance education. Therefore, big companies do not expect from the students of distance learning that they will be enough skilled in order to produce employability for their companies. Higher educated people from distance education often found job in some small companies as because their learning process is not as effective as the traditional method of learning.

Especially, Mason et al. (2009) stated that, in some developing countries of the world, process and strategy of distance learning is not as effective as the developed countries. Therefore, learners of these countries face some problems during their employment in some large organization (Gokuladas, 2010).

Therefore, Al-Mutairi and Naser (2014) stated that, the scenario of developing country is different from the scenario of developing country. The capital and cost of this type of education is high and student can afford this cost in the developed countries while the situation of developing countries is vice versa. Therefore, for this reason, big house of employer often prefer to choose the students of developing countries who has done completed their study in a traditional method of learning.



In order to investigate the background of the higher education graduates some literatures have conducted survey that covers some area of employability skills. Those surveys has covered some areas of employability, those are as follows:

  • The importance of abilities and skills that has been required by the graduates of higher studies
  • Level of satisfaction of the graduates
  • Level of graduate education that will be best suited for the positions that is vacant
  • Factors of influencing the recruitment of graduates
  • Reputation of various types of educational institution
  • Quantity and type of training that has been given to the graduates of Institution
  • Major challenges of institutions in order to hire the higher graduates
  • Coordination as well as cooperation among the educational institutions and various types of companies
  • Several views upon the process of making more employable to the higher graduates

Therefore, in order to investigate this particular area, survey has been conduced and the findings have been found in respect of the study. Main findings of this study are as follows:

Several Companies have recruited higher graduates for more than five years of operation. Those companies will also hire higher graduates for the future purpose of the business company. In order to deal with several peoples in abroad, the companies prefer to take higher graduates for the purpose of the company. Ability of working under a team and basic literacy of computer has been considered by those recruiting companies. Computer literacy and team work has remained very important as well as essential skills of higher graduates for the purpose of those business companies (Tomlinson, 2007).

There are other skills and capabilities those have also influenced over the view of recruiters. Various skills and capabilities of higher graduates have been compared by the recruiters in order to recruit the graduates for the purpose of the business organization. Vast numbers of business companies who regularly hire people for their purpose of business have stated that, the higher graduate students have most of the proper and accurate skills those will benefit the companies in order to deliver the responsibilities and duties of them (Todhunter, 2013).

On the other hand, Sermsuk et al. (2014) stated that, the recruiting companies also have been very satisfied by the higher graduates and the skills of them. These business companies therefore prefer to hire these higher graduates in order to meet the desired skills for the business purpose of the organization. These business companies also prefer higher graduates as because they know to work under a team. This is very important for the business companies that those higher graduates know how to work under a team. On the other hand, a large group of employers often prefer to recruit higher graduates those have the potential to work in this company. Higher graduates have the potential to work with these companies.

As stated by, Schoot (2003) satisfaction level of the employers has been increased in order to recruit the higher graduates of institution.  They are often satisfied with the higher graduates as because they have analyzed that the higher graduates are all set to deliver the duties and responsibilities of the institution. Overall satisfaction level of the employers is often ranged from the decision making skills and skills of computer of those higher graduates. Other skills are like flexibility of foreign languages have also considered as the basic and important skill for the higher graduates.

Therefore, Tomankova et al. (2012) also states that, the graduates are often recruited in the medium size company but the higher graduates have been recruited in those large companies. Therefore, some graduate recruiters have also been recruited for the purpose of employment. Therefore, the training and development process of the employees should be done for the purpose of employer organization. Program of distance learning have been mentioned for the training of the employees.


Reference list


Brynteson, R. (2013). Innovation at work New York: AMACOM, American Management Association.

Estelami, H. (2013). Frontiers of distance learning in business education Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Frith, K. and Clark, D. (2013). Distance education in nursing. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Kumar, V. and Lin, F. (2013). System and technology advancements in distance learning.Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference.


Al-Mutairi, A. and Naser, K. (2014). Employability Factors of Business Graduates in Kuwait: Evidence from An Emerging Country. IJBM, 9(10)

Cai, Y. (2012). Graduate employability: a conceptual framework for understanding employers’ perceptions. High Educ, 65(4), pp.457-469

Carroll, C. (2011). Accessing the graduate labour market: assessing the employability of Irish non-traditional graduates of Trinity College, Dublin Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 13(2), pp.86-104

D'souza, G., Devi, E. and Sheilini, M. (2013) Communication Pattern, Attitude Towards Importance of Communication and Factors Affecting Communication among Nursing Graduates Working in Cardiac Units International Journal of Nursing Care, 1(1), p.64.

FUGATE, M. and ASHFORTH, B. (2003) EMPLOYABILITY: THE CONSTRUCT, ITS DIMENSIONS, AND APPLICATIONS Academy of Management Proceedings, 2003(1), pp.J1-J6

Fugate, M., Kinicki, A. and Ashforth, B. (2004). Employability: A psycho-social construct, its dimensions, and applications. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65(1), pp.14-38

Gil-Jaurena, I. (2013). Learning assessment in open, distance and flexible education Open Praxis, 5(3).

Gokuladas, V. (2010) Technical and non-technical education and the employability of engineering graduates: an Indian case study. International Journal of Training and Development, 14(2), pp.130-143

Harvey, L. (2001). Defining and Measuring Employability Quality in Higher Education, 7(2), pp.97-109.

Haverila, M. (2010) Factors affecting new product success in technology companies: the case of Finland IJPD, 12(2), p.176

Hosseini, S. and Rezaei, R. (2010) Factors affecting the perceptions of Iranian agricultural researchers towards nanotechnology Public Understanding of Science, 20(4), pp.513-524

Kruss *, G. (2004). Employment and employability: expectations of higher education responsiveness in South Africa. Journal of Education Policy, 19(6), pp.673-689

Mason, G., Williams, G. and Cranmer, S. (2009). Employability skills initiatives in higher education: what effects do they have on graduate labour market outcomes?. Education Economics, 17(1), pp.1-30

Morrison, A. (2012). ‘You have to be well spoken’: students’ views on employability within the graduate labour market. Journal of Education and Work, 27(2), pp.179-198

Mutairi, A., Naser, K. and Saeid, M. (2014). Factors Impact Business Graduates Employability: Evidence from Academicians and Employers in Kuwait. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(4)

O’Leary, S. (2013) Collaborations in Higher Education with Employers and Their Influence on Graduate Employability: An Institutional Project ELiSS, 5(1), pp.37-50

Schoot, E. (2003). The influence of the curriculum, individual characteristics, recruitment policies and the labour market on graduate employability International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 3(2), p.171.

Sermsuk, S., Triwichitkhun, D. and Wongwanich, S. (2014). Employment Conditions and Essential Employability Skills Required by Employers for Secondary School Graduate Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, pp.1848-1854

Todhunter, B. (2013). LOL — limitations of online learning — are we selling the open and distance education message short?. Distance Education, 34(2), pp.232-252

Tomankova, J., Rasmussen, M., Andersson, K., Ekstrand, B. and Zamaratskaia, G. (2012). Improvac does not modify the expression and activities of the major drug metabolizing enzymes cytochrome P450 3A and 2C in pigs. Vaccine, 30(24), pp.3515-3518.

Tomlinson, M. (2007). Graduate employability and student attitudes and orientations to the labour market. Journal of Education and Work, 20(4), pp.285-304

Wilton, N. (2008). Business graduates and management jobs: an employability match made in heaven?. Journal of Education and Work, 21(2), pp.143-158

Wilton, N. (2011). Do employability skills really matter in the UK graduate labour market? The case of business and management graduates. Work, Employment & Society, 25(1), pp.85-100.

Wye, C. and Lim, Y. (2009). Perception Differential between Employers and Undergraduates on the Importance of Employability Skills IES, 2(1)

Yasmin, (2013). Application of the classification tree model in predicting learner dropout behaviour in open and distance learning Distance Education, 34(2), pp.218-231


Cambridge Employability Skills Framework, (2015) Cambridge Employability Skills Framework: Home. [online] Available at: https://www.employabilityskills.org [Accessed 1 Mar. 2015].

Free Range Education, (2015). Free Range Education. [online] Available at: https://www.freerangeeducation.org/ [Accessed 1 Mar. 2015].


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