The importance of horizontal-fit of university student jobs for future job quality

Beatrice Van der Heijden, Pascale M. Le Blanc, Ana Hernandez (Corresponding author), Vincente Gonzalez-Romá, Jesus Yeves, Juan P. Gamboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the antecedents of the quality of graduates’ jobs when they enter the job market after university graduation.

Design/methodology/approach
Survey data collected from 173 Spanish bachelor and master’s degree university graduates at two time points (two months before and six months after graduation, approximately) were analyzed by means of path analysis.

Findings
A moderated mediation model was tested, where the relationship between the horizontal fit (HF) between the university degree subject and the student’s job and the quality of the graduate’s job after graduation is mediated by self-perceived employability and moderated by the time devoted to a student job. Results showed that the relationship between HF and job quality was partially mediated by self-perceived employability. However, contrary to the proposed hypothesis, this relationship did not depend on the time devoted to a student job.

Originality/value
This study contributes to improving the understanding about how and why university students’ work experience is related to the quality of their jobs as fresh graduates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-256
Number of pages18
JournalCareer Development International
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Horizontal fit while studying (fit between university degree subject and student job)
  • Job quality
  • Self-perceived employability
  • Time devoted to a student job

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