This study posits a bioecological positivity to success (BEPS) model and examines how diverse bioecological factors predict graduates’ career success. The BEPS model with an emphasis on hard (e.g. science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM]) and soft (e.g. interpersonal and critical thinking) skills generate a hypothetical model: positive aspects of person (mathematical/hard and affective/soft abilities), process (effective hard and soft competencies learning in higher education) and proximal contexts (original family income and present employment status) predict graduates’ career success (job income and perceived extrinsic, intrinsic and autonomy satisfaction) in early adulthood. Gender, studying STEM, and study years are also included as predictors in the path analysis as control. Path analyses examine the model with cohort data from the Taiwan Education Panel Survey (TEPS) and its follow-up (TEPS-B), which are longitudinal studies of a group of young people (n = 2,700) since grade 7 till age 24–25 years old. Results reveal that soft skills and employment play the most significant roles in graduates’ career success. Hard skills play a minor role. Findings support the BEPS model and provide implications for educational practices and policymaking to emphasise on soft skills learning, employability and entrepreneurship education.
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- Bioecological theories
- career success
- hard and soft skills
- higher education