Older academics and career management: An interdisciplinary discussion

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The academic workforce is among the oldest (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005) and arguably has the most highly qualified professionals within Australia. Yet career management for this group is seldom discussed. This paper considers Australia's ageing academic workforce and the human resource management challenges and implications this poses for Australian universities, through an interdisciplinary discussion of the literature from three key areas: higher education, psychology and career. The paper will argue that an ageing academic workforce raises crucial sustainability issues, and that universities need to be responsive to this phenomenon and to the complexity of the academic career. It will also draw attention to the lack of evidence to date of university career management policy and practice which incorporates both life and career stages, and which proactively addresses academic careers and ageing. Given an increasingly globalised and competitive labour market, it is in both the university's and the individual academic's best interests to work proactively and collaboratively in order to create a mutually beneficial future.


Peter Faber Business School

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Journal Article

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