The role of teaching staff in fostering perceived employability of university students

Gerardo Petruzziello*, Marco Giovanni Mariani, Dina Guglielmi, Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden, Jeroen P. de Jong, Rita Chiesa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


For university students, perceived employability is gaining growing importance in dealing with occupational uncertainty. However, how perceived employability is shaped in the university setting is still under-researched. This study examines how support from university teaching staff influences perceived employability in a sample of Italian final-year university students. We draw on Conservation on Resources Theory to hypothesise a positive impact of support from teaching staff on students’ perceived employability. In addition, we contend that perceived employability predicts students’ psychological well-being. To test our hypotheses, one hundred twenty-seven university students completed a survey three times over a 10-month period. The results confirm that support from teaching staff enhances students’ perceived employability. Moreover, a positive effect of perceived employability on students’ psychological well-being emerges. Perceived employability also appears to mediate the relationship between support from teaching staff and psychological well-being. Using a time-lagged approach, this study enhances the empirical knowledge about antecedents and outcomes of students’ perceived employability. This scholarly work underlines universities’ responsibility in refining teachers’ roles and didactical practices to equip their students with career resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-36
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • University students
  • graduate employability
  • psychological well-being
  • self-perceived employability
  • support from teaching staff


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