The Role of Universities, Employers, Graduates and Professional Associations in the Development of Professional Skills of New Graduates


  • Srivalli Vilapakkam Nagarajan The University of Sydney
  • Jenny Edwards University of Technology Sydney



Work ready graduates, professional skills, graduate work experiences, university preparation, employer expectations



We examine the role of universities, employers, professional associations and graduates in the development of professional skills of new university graduates, through studying the professional work experiences of recent Australian information technology graduates as a particular case to inform our wider analysis and argument. We argue that the development of professional (or work-ready) skills is a distributed responsibility, and different stakeholders have different contributions to make. Furthermore, this approach will be successful only when each player accepts its responsibilities and cooperates with the others. It is suggested that: universities take responsibility for preparing graduates to learn how to learn in uncertain situations; employers take responsibility for training graduates when they commence work; graduates take personal responsibility for developing their professional skills both within and outside university studies and professional associations take responsibility for increasing students’ exposure to the industry through scholarships, internships, research and job ready programmes. Although the findings are grounded in data collected from new IT graduates, much of the discussion is relevant for other disciplines.


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Original Research