The Frustrated Career: Casual Employment in Higher EducationReportar como inadecuado

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Australian Universities' Review, v52 n1 p37-50 2010

The use of casual staff, including casual teaching staff, is a common practice in Australian universities and the numbers of casual staff in the sector has increased significantly in the last decade. The traditional profile for casual teachers was that of industry expert and students. Recent research has shown that the casual teacher is now more likely to be a person holding several casual jobs and seeking a career. Likewise, general staff in casual positions are often people who would prefer job security and a career. This research was conducted at a regional Australian university and used a questionnaire targeting staff in both the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and higher education divisions in all occupational groups as well as in depth interviews of casual teaching staff. The findings show that the traditional profile no longer applies. Staff employed in casual positions often hold more than one job, at more than one institution and are seeking job security. They frequently, but unsuccessfully use casual work as a career strategy. The result is frustrated careers. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)

Descriptors: Higher Education, Occupations, Adult Education, Job Security, College Faculty, Trend Analysis, Employment Patterns, Interviews, Questionnaires, Foreign Countries, Part Time Employment, Part Time Faculty, Employment Level

National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Autor: Gottschalk, Lorene; McEachern, Steve


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