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Development and Initial Validation of a Perceived Future Employability Scale for Young Adults

This study reports on development and initial validation of a scale to measure young adults’ perceptions of their future employability. Perceived future employability concerns young people’s perceptions of their future skills, experience, networks, personal traits, labor market knowledge, and institutional reputation at the time of completing their formal education, when they are on the verge of entering the labor market. In Phase 1, an initial item pool was developed from focus group discussions and expert feedback. In Phase 2, exploratory factor analyses reduced the number of items using data from a university student sample (N = 324). In Phase 3, confirmatory factor analyses tested the initial structure using data from a second sample of university students (N = 250). In Phase 4, construct validity was examined by correlating scale scores with measures of career ambition, university commitment, and career distress. The scale potentially (a) augments research on perceived future employability, (b) illuminates factors promoting employability and well-being in young adults, and (c) provides information to young adults who are concerned about their future career.