International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Transiting from Higher Education to Working Life: the Experience in Two Professions
Anna Reid, Peter Petocz

On completion of their university students, students make a transition into their professional field. Professions can be described as ‘clear’ or ‘diffuse’, depending on whether their nature is obvious or ambiguous, and whether the path from study to working life is seen as evident or vague. In a clear field, professional requirements can be simply utilised as the basis for a pedagogical approach and can direct the course of student learning. In a diffuse field this is more difficult, and the pedagogy and learning are more likely to be directed by the academic structure itself. In this paper, we critically examine the notion of clear and diffuse professional fields, both from a theoretical and an empirical point of view. We conclude that while the ‘clear’ and ‘diffuse’ distinction is a useful one theoretically and pedagogically, students’ experience of learning and moving to professional work may be more ambiguous.

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