Professional identity formation among higher education students: The demands of future work, determining factors and the importance of work integrated learning
Contemporary work calls for critical practitioners who can evaluate knowledge, drive change and create new ideas and employment. This requires practitioners who are not dominated by the ideology of others, have a strong awareness of and connection with professional practice and the confidence and maturity to enact their capabilities and vision in an increasingly complex working environment.
A sufficiently formed professional identity will better enable graduating students to perform and contribute as they transition from university to the workplace. Yet is it realistic to expect this of new graduates? Is higher education sufficiently focused on developing this critical yet underexplored dimension of graduate employability?
Denise will draw on her recent research to consider the meaning of professional identity through different theoretical lenses and its importance for future employment. She will explore the prevalence of emergent professional identity among higher education students and the many factors that influence its formation. Her work has proven authentic workplace learning experiences to be valuable platforms for identity construction and she will present design principles and collaborative strategies for educators and industry to foster professional identity formation among students participating in work integrated learning.
Denise Jackson biography
Associate Professor Denise Jackson is the Director of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Denise has received a number of research and teaching and learning awards, most recently a national Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
She sits on the National Board and is the State Chair (Western Australia) for the Australian Collaborative Education Network, the professional association for WIL in Australia. She has researched and published extensively in the areas of WIL, graduate employment and underemployment, transition from university to the workplace, career development learning, and professional identity development.
Denise has facilitated in Human Resource Management, WIL and in dedicated employability programs in the tertiary sector for a number of years, both in Australia and the UK. Prior to this, she worked in Human Resources in the UK financial and manufacturing sectors before establishing her own business in the tourism industry in Southern Africa.