Employment and employability profiles of postgraduate psychology alumni from a historically disadvantaged university
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The present study aimed to determine the employment and employability profiles of alumni from structured professional Masters programmes in psychology. Issues of low enrolment rates and high attrition rates are at the fore of transformation efforts in the South African higher education sector. The concern of graduate employability and the relevance of skills training received to the labour market are of international concern. Graduate tracer studies have been successfully implemented internationally to attempt to understand these issues. Training relevance is of particular concern for the field of psychology in South Africa, as there is a significant shortage of mental health professionals. Understanding where graduates from professional Masters degrees in psychology find employment, as well as understanding their employability, may lead to greater absorption of graduates from these programmes into the workforce. Permission to conduct the present study and ethics clearance was obtained from the Senate Research Committee of the University of the Western Cape, and all relevant ethics principles were adhered to. An incentivised, online survey was conducted with a sample of 29 Masters-level graduates from two professional psychology programmes at a historically disadvantaged university. The study used a modified version of the Standard Instrument for Graduates. The survey had a 50% response rate (29 of 58) after at least four electronic reminders. Respondents graduated between 2008 and 2013, 13 from the clinical Masters programme and 16 from the research Masters programme. Descriptive statistics were used to depict the employment and employability profiles of the alumni.