Higher Education and the Employability Agenda

  • Cheryl A. Matherly
  • Martin J. Tillman


The term ‘employability’ is part of mainstream discourse about expected outcomes for higher education. The increased stress on the employability of their graduates has challenged colleges and universities to evaluate and prioritize the fit between education and training and the workplace. In this chapter, we explore how employability has influenced higher education policies and practices globally. We first review the definition for employability and discuss the related theoretical framework of human capital. We next examine employability of college graduates as an objective of the economic strategies of supranational, regional and national organizations. We then consider the knowledge, skills and attitudes that make a graduate in the 21st century employable and conclude with a review of how higher education institutions have responded to what is commonly referred to as the ‘employability agenda’.


High Education Labour Market High Education Institution High Education System Labour Market Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Cheryl A. Matherly and Martin J. Tillman 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl A. Matherly
  • Martin J. Tillman

There are no affiliations available

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