Who's free to make their career choice? Results of a cross-sectional survey of high-school students

Natal'ya Galliott

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Recent research has resulted in policy focused on the role of youth aspirations in overcoming disadvantage, promoting social mobility and improving economic sustainability. While educational bureaucrats have invented various programmes and initiatives aimed at addressing the issue, the solution has not yet been found and career indecisiveness among young people remains a significant problem for a number of developed economies. This poster presentation summarises a three year scholarly research project investigating career choice capability of high-school students. Drawing on Amartya Sen's capability approach, the study proposes an enhanced theoretical framework and a methodology complemented in an innovative way by works of various educational philosophers. The framework is applied to investigate multidimensional aspects that shape students' career choice capability. Following exploratory focus groups, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with 706 Year 9-12 students from twelve schools in New South Wales, Australia. The data from this survey provided a base for analysis of (i) personal backgrounds and (ii) the educational experiences of students in relation to their career (in)decisiveness. The findings revealed that students' career decision-making was significantly influenced by personal factors such as locale, home language and self-assessment of academic achievements, and those consequently were influencing the way in which students were able to make use of educational experiences available to them. In addition, "career uncertain" participants of the survey tended to report inadequate career education, unreflective selection of elective subjects and disliking school to a greater extent in comparison to "career certain" students. The study provides a better understanding of school education's role in producing young people who are capable of envisioning and enacting desired futures. The recommendations of this research project can be used as a guide for educational policy-makers and advisory practice aiming to address the issues associated with the growing number of career indecisive young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJoint AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference, Brisbane 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference - Brisbane
    Duration: 30 Nov 20144 Dec 2014


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