Opportunities and constraints for career development of non-STEM graduates: A mixed method approach

This project is supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-0366. Contract number: 27/05/20022.

Period: 2022-2024

General presentationTeamResearch outcomesReportsContact

In the current knowledge economy, the career paths of graduates from Social Sciences and Humanities (non-STEM) are insufficiently understood. In recent decades, Romania became a popular nearshoring location, due to its large youth population, low labour costs, language capabilities and digital skills. However, at different moments in time, companies conceptualize ‘career development’ differently, have different career paths accessible to the new entrants and promote different narratives of success. The project is informed by Ken Roberts’ opportunity structure theory. Based on a mixed method design, the research maps retrospectively, the ‘opportunity structures’ enabling career advancement and the meanings attached to it by different actors from the business service sector. The goal is to refine our understanding of processes shaping the ‘employability’ of graduates in Romania.

 

Objectives:

  • To map the structures of opportunity and constrain shaping non-STEM graduates’ opportunities of career development since the 90s.
  • To explore the meaning(s) of career development (re)produced among multiple stakeholders, including graduates, recruitment personnel, business leaders and policy makers.

Prof. MARIA-CARMEN PANTEA -project director

Maria-Carmen Pantea is Professor at the Social Work Department, BBU. Her research interests are in the area of Youth Studies, in particular young people’s relationship with work in its various forms: university-to-work transitions, vocational education and training, overqualification, entrepreneurship, volunteering. She is member of the Advisory Group of the Pool of European Youth Researchers of the EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership. Maria-Carmen is member of the European Commission expert group on quality investment in education and training and an editorial board member of Journal of Youth Studies. In 2020-2021 she was one of two researchers contracted to support the EU Youth Dialogue as part of the German and the Portuguese EU Council Presidencies. She is the author of ‘Precarity and Vocational Education and Training. Craftsmanship and Employability in Romania. London’, Palgrave (2019). PhD in Sociology (BBU), MA with Merit in Gender Studies (Central European University) and MSc in Evidence-Based Social Interventions (Oxford).

Curriculum vitae

Prof. DAN CRISTIAN DABIJA – senior researcher

Dan Cristian Dabija is a Full Professor at the Department of Marketing and PhD Supervisor in Marketing at the PhD School in Business and Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania. He completed his PhD Studies at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies and has been awarded several doctoral and postdoctoral research scholarships at Romanian, German, Hungarian, Polish, British and Finish universities. Dr. Dabija led two research projects funded by UEFISCDI. He published more than 100 papers in areas related to business and economics. Dr. Dabija serves as an associate or guest editor for important journals, as well as for Romanian and European research projects. He is specialised in quantitative data analysis, sales and marketing. Dr. Dabija is the co-author of To conceive, to write and to publish a scientific article in business and economics (in Romanian) which was awarded the first book prize of the Romanian Association of Economic Faculties and the “Victor Slăvescu“ Prize of the Romanian Academy of Science.

Curriculum vitae

KEN ROBERTS, Emeritus Professor at the University of Liverpool- in an advisory role

Ken Roberts is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. He has a long track record in youth research. From 1989 until 2010 he coordinated a series of projects among youth in transforming post-communist countries. His subsequent research was as member of a European Union Consortium investigating the roles of youth during and since the Arab Spring of 2011. His most recent publications have been on how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have affected young people’s education to work transitions in the UK. In all these projects he has employed the concept of opportunity structures that he coined in the 1960s. His books include Surviving Post-Communism: Young People in the Former Soviet Union (2000), Youth in

Transition: Eastern Europe and in the West (2009), Class in Contemporary Britain (2011), Sociology: An Introduction (2012), The Business of Leisure (2016), and Social Theory, Sport, Leisure (2016).

Curriculum vitae

Publications and Reports:

 

Dinu, V., Câmpian, V., Vasiliu, C., Tăchiciu, L., Dabija, D.C. (2022). Ethics and Integrity in the Context of Economic Research Within Doctoral Schools. Amfiteatru Economic, 24 (Special Issue No. 16), pp. 912-933.

Pantea, M.C. (2022) ‘Elevating the Standing of Vocational Education and Training in Romania’ in S. Billett et al., (Eds) The standing of vocational education and the occupations it serves: Current concerns and strategies for enhancing that standing. NY: Springer.

Background Report (internal document)

Conferences, workshops and webinars:

Maria-Carmen Pantea and Dan-Cristian Dabija made the presentation ‘A critical theory perspective of the business service sector’ at the European Sociological Association, Research Network 19: Sociology of Professions, Interim meeting ‚Dynamics of Professions and Professionalism: Work, Quality and Expertise’, Utrecht University (29.08-31.08.2022).

Ken Roberts made the presentation ‘EUROPE 2022: Living amid two merging transformations’ at the Midterm Conference of ESA RN36: “Sociological Knowledge and Social Transformations in Global Crises”, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Praga (2.09-3.09.2022).

Dan Cristian Dabija took part at the workshop ‘Green Investments’ held at ‘Strategica International Conference: Sustainable Development and Strategic Growth. (Bucharest, 20-21.10.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the 17th Biennial Conference of The European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA): Transformation, Hope and the Commons School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast (online, 26.07-29.07.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated and wrote the report of the EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership Symposium ‘Navigating Transitions: adapting policy to young people’s changing realities’, under the frame of the European Year of Youth. Tirana, Albania (21.06-23.06.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea and Dan Cristian Dabija took part at the Online book launch ‘The SAGE Handbook of Graduate Employability’, edited by Tania Broadley et al, (10.11.2022)

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the round table ‘youth organisations and careers guidance’ organised by The Centre for Education and Youth and The Centre for Youth Impact on behalf of the Gatsby Foundation.

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the Online Talk with Colin Barnes – Hosted by (In)justice International and CCDS (12.08.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the following webinars organised by the RN30 (Youth & Generation) of the European Sociological Association:

  •  ‘Silent angers. Youth, social hardships and politics’, Guest speaker, Prof. Cécile van de Velde, University of Montreal and Cécile Van de Velde, University of Montreal, Canada (16.06.2022).
  • Seminar on Youth and Social Exclusion, which presented the Book “Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe. The Multifaceted Consequences of Labor Market Insecurity”, edited by Sonia Bertolini with M. Unt, M. Gebel, V. Deliyanni-Kouimtzi and D. Hofacker (Policy Press, 2021), based on the results of the project “Except – Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe” funded by the H2020 program: https://www.except-project.eu/ (22.09.2022).
  • Seminar ‘Forms of Collective Engagement in Youth Transitions’ which launched the book ‘Forms of Collective Engagement in Youth Transitions: A Global Perspective’ edited by Valentina Cuzzocrea, Ben Gook and Bjørn Schiermer (Brill, 2022) (10.11.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea Pantea took part at the seminar “Biographies and the Practice of Storytelling” Prof. John Goodwin (University of Leicester), who held the lecture “Biographies and trajectories: from life, to data, to results”, a project of Iscte- University Institute of Lisbon. (14.09.2022) Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the meeting of the Association of Business Leaders, ‘Success in the new era of work. Reinventing people practices’, Cluj Napoca, Maestro Bussiness Center, (27.09.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea and Dan Cristian Dabija organised a project presentation within the Career Days at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, UBB. Cluj Napoca, hybrid event (24.10.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the meeting of the Association of Business Leaders, ‘Success in the new era of work. Reinventing people practices’, Cluj Napoca, Maestro Bussiness Center, (27.09.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea and Dan Cristian Dabija participated online at the book launch ‘The SAGE Handbook of Graduate Employability’, edited by Tania Broadley et al. (10.11.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at The European Civic Academy 2022: ‘Capturing the winds of change: How can democratic civil society drive systemic change?’ organized by the European Civic Forum at Scuola Normale Superiore Firenze (online, 11.11.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated in the debate ‘Shaping the Future of Work: An Activist Research Agenda’, speaker Thomas A. Kochan, organised by Digital Futures at Work Research Center (16.11.2022).

Dan Cristian Dabija moderated three sessions at the International Conference ‘Marketing – from information to decision’, UBB FSEGA (Cluj-Napoca, 18.11.2022)

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated online in ‘HR & Digitalization trends & challenges’, a conference of CRANET Romania at UBB FSEGA Cluj Napoca (24.11.2022).

 

 

 

Policy-related contributions:

 

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated at three meetings of the European Commission expert group on quality investments in education (27.06, 13.09, 20.10.2022). She contributed towards the Report ‘Investing in education and training’.

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated in the annual meeting of the EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership Pool of European Youth Researchers (Tirana, 24.06.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the round table ‘youth organisations and careers guidance’ organised by The Centre for Education and Youth and The Centre for Youth Impact on behalf of the Gatsby Foundation (online, 01.06.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea took part at the seminar ‘Youth first! Employment, skills and social policies that work for young Europeans in times of uncertainty’ organised by Cedefop, Eurofound, ELA, OSHA and ETF, with the sponsorship of EP Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Mr Dragos Pîslaru (online, 08.09.2022).

Maria-Carmen Pantea participated at the European Week of Regions and Cities 2022 Workshop: Working Europe-education and jobs of the future for young people (online, 12.10.2022).

 

Maria-Carmen Pantea, project director: maria.pantea@ubbcluj.ro