9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Careers and Professional Paths Building I, Auditório 1

Employability and professional insertion´ paths: characteristics and structuring elements. The case study of higher education graduated students

The paper that I intend to present is based on a study about the characteristics and the structuring elements of the professional insertion? paths and the employability profiles of higher education graduated students .
The results achieved indicate that employability is conditioned by individual and contextual determinants. In what concerns to the individual determinants, the dimension ?path of professional insertion?, duly contextualised by the family locus and by the training trajectory, is the one that presents more interactions with the individual?s potential to find and keep a suitable job. The experiences carried out by the individual?s trajectory help them not only to (re)build the image of job and labour markets? preferences, but also to (re)define the self-concept of knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities owned and/or developed by the degree. The results till now collected show that more successful professional insertion? paths tend to correlate with more pro-active job search attitudes and with higher levels of self-evaluation in what concerns the abilities and qualities needed to the professional performance.
Regarding contextual determinants, we conclude that the expectations and demands of the labour market have a strategic weight, but two key conclusions should be highlighted as far as employers? preferences are concerned: i) emphasis on the abilities and personal qualities in the ideal competences profile, associated to areas of ?knowing how to be?, ?knowing how to stand?, ?knowing how to evolve? and ?knowing to and how to act?; ii) the difference between the desired profile and the one owned by the graduates with whom employers have already carried out or are carrying out work experiences.
The results leads us to the conclusion that employability must be associated, in an operational way, to ?new? forms of ?being and acting? in a professional environment. In fact, the results suggest that professional insertion? paths and the employability profiles are structurally influenced and defined by the individual ways of ?acting and acting with competence? and by the specific evaluation done by the labour market.