Journal Article Critique and Comparison


            The main goal of this paper is to analyse and compare 3 journal articles. The first article to be considered is the article by Teichler (2000). It can be said that the main purpose of this article is to determine the relationships between higher education and employment. The main theme is to determine how higher educations have been associated with the growing unemployment rates in various countries, particularly in the United States. The author has argued that there is a significant relationship between this two and that the author aims on providing enough evidences to prove its connections.  The author’s arguments have been supported by the different literatures and other documents relevant to the topic. The author has been able to review these documents to make a sound conclusion about the topic.

            The article has been divided in various parts to show clarity and coherences in the discussion of the study. The discussion of the paper is eight-fold. The first part is the discussion of the employment scene where the author highlights the growth of unemployment of graduates in various parts of the world. This is followed by the discussion of the enrolment trends then followed by thew discussion of the research needs. This part gives emphasis on the lack of enough documents that would evidently prove the relation of higher education and employment. The next part Is the discussion of the future perspectives then the diversification of higher education as a response and the emphasis placed on flexibility. This paper also highlights the discussion of the further curricular approaches then the conclusion parts. It can be said that the author has been able to support his arguments by discussing previous studies relevant to the topic. This paper is said to be relevant to know whether higher education approaches has a significant effect on employment aspects of students. In addition, this is significant to determine the direct cause of the rapid growth of unemployment among graduates.  In addition, the article is also significant on identifying whether the university degree is really helpful in obtaining a career in the business world. Based on the study, it is said that not all graduates are given the chance to work in relation with their course and the article revealed that there are more graduates who do not have jobs compared to those who do not earn a degree in a university.

            It can be said that the whole article has been able to provide clear discussion on how higher education relates with the employment aspects. The authors have been able to give justice to his arguments. In addition, this paper has also been able to provide some recommendations on how higher education would solve the issue of unemployment growth.  The author gives evidences and proofs on how graduate employment has become biased and insufficient in spite of the effort of higher education.  However, this article has still some flaws which include the inability of the author to provide clear discussion of each of the section, there are some parts which are highly relevant but other parts are seen to be unsuitable for the article.  

            The second article to be discussed is the work of Elias and Purcell (2004). Primarily, the main purpose of this paper is to determine whether the context of mass higher education is working in terms of reducing unemployment rates. The main theme is to investigate the labour market experiences of recent graduates and relates it to the existence of higher education. The author’s argument is that the expansion of higher education affects employment of the graduates. The arguments of the authors of this article have been supported by primary and secondary data. The primary source of data came from the direct investigation conducted with a large sample of 1995 graduates and the secondary support came from evidences on the graduates earning premiums and change in the occupation structure of UK. In addition, support also came from the documents on mass higher education. The article has been divided into sections to discuss the argument and findings in an organized manner. The first part is the introduction where the context, aims and themes of the article has been discussed. The second part reviews the occupation structure and graduate jobs which present different quantitative and qualitative data. The next part discusses the analysis of the earning premiums of the graduates which presents the problems and earlier evidence about earnings measurement.  The next part gives emphasis on the use of graduates’ skills and knowledge which identifies whether the graduates has been able to use their skills and knowledge with their professions. The next section of the paper focuses on providing details about the new and niche graduate jobs. This part gives the differences between the new graduate occupations and niche graduate occupations and the last part provides the conclusion on the findings of the study.

            It can be said that through the evidences and the use of qualitative and quantitative approach, the authors have been able to support their arguments and provide sound conclusion regarding the topic. This is paper has a lot of significance in education, employment institution and graduates. This paper is significant because it helps educators to know the effect of mass higher education that they have implemented in terms of employment of the graduates.  In addition, the result of this research is also significant for students and graduates since this paper provides trending on the possibility of the graduates to have a job that would be used their skills and knowledge as part of their profession.  The ability of the research to provide details on the premiums and earnings of the graduates helps the students and educators know the current economic or financial condition of the graduates.

            Analysis shows that using primary and secondary evidences have been the major strengths of this study to provide conclusion based on the aim and purpose. Through the use of this information, the authors have been able to determine whether mass higher education is really working for the graduates to have a better job employment in the future.  On one hand, the major weakness of this paper is the inability of the author to discuss thoroughly the mass higher education and its relevance with the employment of graduates.

            The third article to be given emphasis is the work of Knight and Yorke (2002).  The main aim of this paper is to discuss the relationship between curriculum and the employability of the graduates.  The main argument of the authors is that employability can be embedded in various academic subjects in higher education without having to compromise core academic freedoms. The author’s arguments in this paper have been supported by the review of relevant studies and other documents and academic transformation projects conducted. In addition, the authors argued that there is a personal element which tends to get overlooked by academic knowledge about employability and this include the portmanteau of self-belief or the self-theories which the students brings towards higher education. In this regard, the conception of the authors of employability is that it is being pushed to the transferable skills.

The authors have been supported by various theories relative to employability.  Furthermore, support also came from SKILLS plus projects and the USEM models which are relevant to the changing curriculum of higher education. The article has been divided in various parts to show coherence and clarity of the topic. The first part discusses the aspects of employability and the difference between graduate employability and graduate level employment. The authors defined graduate employability as the possession of the skills, understandings and personal attributes which is important to adequately perform in a graduate-level job. The next part discusses the USEM model which stands for Understanding, skills which can be subject specific or generic, Efficacy beliefs or self theories aspect and the Metacognition which include reflection. The next part discusses the context of self-theories and employability and give emphasis the student’s belief in malleability. The next section discusses the implication on the emphasis on self theories which discusses four implications. This paper also discusses the context of SKILLS PLUS project and its early outcomes as part of the curriculum.

It can be said that this through this evidences, the authors have been able to meet or achieve their goals and justify their arguments. It can be said that this paper is significant to school institutions, students or graduates and the government. This is important in the school institutions because it provides important details regarding the significance of curriculum in enhancing student’s knowledge and skills to prepare them for future jobs. On one hand, this is significant for students to know how self theory affects their choice of employability.  Furthermore, this paper is significant for it enables the government to determine how they will be helpful in enhancing the employability of students and graduates. The major strength of this research is with regards to the theories and models presented which helps the reader understand how this can be related to employability context. However, this paper has some flaws which affect the overall objective of the study.  Based on the analysis, the authors have not been able to discuss thoroughly how curriculum relates with employability. In addition, the flow of the discussion is somewhat illogical as the authors presented various theories which may not be closely relevant to the topic of the research.


             PART C: Comparative Matrix




Knight and Yorke

Elias and Purcell

Some suggestions: Higher Education System

The author suggests that higher education must be able to have a more intensive curriculum to help students have a secure and stable job

The authors suggest that higher education should be transformed so as to meet the employability needs of the students or graduates

The authors suggest the higher education should be thoroughly investigated to determine whether it is working or not




The skills and attributions of this research lie on the ability of the higher education to provide proper curriculum that enhances the skills and knowledge of the graduates.

In this research self-enhancement is the skills attribution of this study. In addition, the meta cognition skills is given emphasis in this study,

Personal skills and attributes have been given emphasis on this paper. Herein the author believed that through the help of higher education, students will be able to have a more competent skills.



This paper has not been able to give enough focus with the context of employability, since its main focus is to determine the relationship of higher education with graduate’s employment.

this study, the authors have been able to discuss the aspects of employability giving their own definition of employability which can be embedded in academic subjects.

In this paper,  the authors have not been able to give enough emphasis on the aspect of employability since their main aim is to know whether higher education is working.

Employer Needs

This highlights the fact that employer have different needs which affects the employment opportunities of the students.

The paper highlights the importance of self-efficacy of the graduates to meet the need of the employers.

This paper gives details on how the graduates have been compensated by their employer who needs skilful and knowledgeable employees.

Lifelong Learning

In terms of life long learning, it is said that the author highlights life long learning on both the higher education and the graduates.

Life long learning is being emphasis among employees to ensure that their personal skills and knowledge will be improved and enhanced for their future employment.

Life long learning is considered for graduates to ensure their success in their future careers.




Elias, P., Purcell, K. (2004), “Is mass higher education working? Evidence from the graduate labour market experiences of recent graduates”, National Institute Economic Review, No.190, pp.60-74.


Knight, P.T. and Yorke, M. (2002). “Employability Through the Curriculum”, Tertiary Education and Management, 8(4), pp. 261-276.


Teichler, U. (2000). “New Perspectives of the Relationships between Higher Education and Employment”, Tertiary Education and Management, 6(2), pp. 79-92.



Word count 1941, 8 pages thanks


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