CAREER CHOICE FACTORS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
By Michael Borchert
A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science Degree With a Major in Career and Technical Education Approved: 2 Semester Credits
____________________________________________________ Investigation Advisor The Graduate College University of Wisconsin-Stout December, 2002
Career Choice Factors 2 The Graduate School University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI 54751
Abstract Borchert (Last Name) Michael (First) Career Choice Factors (Title) Vocational Education (Graduate Major) Dr. Michael Galloy (Research Advisor) December/2002 (Month/Year) 82 (No. of Pages) T. (Initial)
American Psychological Association (APA) (Name of Style Manual Used in this Study) Many factors affect career choices of high school students. Identifying these factors would give parents, educators, and industry an idea as to where students place most of their trust in the career selection process. It would also allow students to examine processes they use for career selection. The literature review has provided recommended models in career choices. The review of the literature showed that three areas of a student’s life affect the career choices they make: environment, opportunity, and personality. All three played varying roles in career outcomes. This study attempted to identify to what extent these factors played a role in career choice and which were most important. Data was collected from seniors at Germantown High School, using a survey form. Specific objectives of the study were the following: 1) How influential were factors of personality in making career choices? 2) How influential were factors of the environment in making career choices? 3) How influential were the factors of opportunities in career choice?
Career Choice Factors 3 4) Which areas of personality, environment, or opportunity were most important to the students? The study’s significance of the study includes the following: 1) Some students do not begin to explore ‘real’ career possibilities until after high school graduation. Technical colleges might more aggressively inform students earlier in their schooling, of information, knowledge, and skills they could apply to their daily studies. 2) Some students do not seriously consider many alternative choices in career selection. Sources of influence, such as parents or mentors, could be brought into a circle of counseling and discussion to help the student form a comprehensive career plan or outline. 3) Industry could see where, why, and when it could be beneficial for them to invest resources for the purpose of training, while still in technical schools. 4) If career planning were done in an efficient manner, students would at the very least be following a career plan of informed decision-making, rather than one of happenstance. The researcher will analyze the collected information and identify any existing trends. In addition, he will suggest and explore implications and recommendations.
Career Choice Factors 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In my search for knowledge and experience in life, I am reminded more and more just how lucky I have been. This paper in particular and my degree in general would not have been possible if not for the reassurance and help I got along the way. Gayle, my wife, never doubted me; she gave me the support I needed to accomplish what I only envisioned. Gayle is truly my inspiration. My daughters, Megan and Corie, understood what this undertaking meant for their dad and helped out immensely, both in spirit and in taking up the slack around the house. I hope their life endeavors will meet with the same loving guidance. Mrs.Diedrich, an educator our entire family has known through the years, gave me the courage to see that the trip was worth the journey. Mrs. Barnes, Susan Wolff, and the Germantown High School staff helped me attain the goal I...