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Employability and student equity in higher education: The role of university careers services

There is a pressing need to redress inequities in university completion rates and graduate outcomes. Students from low socio-economic status, regional, and Indigenous backgrounds have lower completion rates than their peers. Graduates from non-English speaking backgrounds and graduates with a disability have consistently worse employment outcomes. Despite these concerning trends, student equity remains marginal to most university employability strategies, including the provision of careers services. University careers services are a central resource for improving student employability. These services provide a range of activities such as careers education, job interview training, resumé preparation, and the sourcing of employment opportunities. Research suggests that students from equity groups underutilise careers services, despite often having the most to gain from them. We captured the professional perspectives and expertise of university careers specialists to explore: the role of careers services in improving employability and equity; and broader university strategies to redress inequitable graduate outcomes.