Factors of Career Choice

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career choice

1.2Objective and Subjective Constraints
1.3Key Theories of Occupational Choice
1.3.1Developmental Theory
1.3.2Structural Theory
1.3.3RIASEC Model

2.Factors of Occupational Choice
2.1Family and Class
2.2Neighbourhood and Peer Group
2.3School and Education
2.5.1Horizontal and Vertical Segregation
2.5.3Hours Worked
2.5.4Orientations to Work

3.Solution of Constraints and Obstacles to Occupational Choices




“The occupational choice debate is concerned with the degree of choice individuals have over their eventual occupation.” (Module Handbook) The process of occupational choice is “psychologically based and examines the way in which the individual develops and passes through a series of stages during which the self-concept grows as abilities, aptitudes and interests develop.” (Watson T.J. 2008) This assignment is attempting the factors that may prevent or affect people’s occupational choices and how we can overcome them.


Role plays an important part in human-being, it can influence a person’s behaviour and decision making. Role may be achieved or ascribed. “The concept of an achieved and ascribed role is important in occupation choice.” (Module Handbook) Stark (2007) states that “An achieved role is a position that a person assumes voluntarily which reflects personal skills, abilities, and effort. An ascribed role is a position assigned to individuals or groups without regard for merit but because of certain traits beyond their control.” (wikipedia) An achieved role can be changed and gained through putting efforts by a person, e.g. educational qualifications. On the other hands, an ascribed role is unchangeable. This role is assigned to you by your parents or family, e.g. height, gender, rich or poor, status, etc.

The role of a person can influence one’s occupational choice. In general, people who have advantages in their ascribed role, it perceived to have advantages in their career path or development as well. Some people can act as model, and some cannot, because of the height of a person. Fortunately, people’s achieved role can break this normal pattern. If people can put efforts and reach to higher educational level, they can also earn the opportunity on their career development and work as middle or top level management in a company. People cannot change fundamental elements but can change their path through their effort. Thus, people’s achieved and ascribed role can alter the decision when they are making decision on occupational choice.

1.2Objective and Subjective Constraints

If we wish to product a model or theory which identifies the various factors that influence the individual’s occupational choice, we must consider both objective and subjective constraints. The individual has certain tangible resources such as cash, skills, knowledge or physique, which are objective constraints. The individual has certain intangible minds of motives, interests and expectations, such as to achieve power or gain job satisfaction, which all are subjective constraints. These are psychological factors of personal achievement.

1.3Key Theories of Occupational Choice

1.3.1Developmental Theory

Eli Ginzberg (1951) defines “an individual never reaches the ultimate decision at single moment in time but through a series of decisions over [time].” (module handbook) It is the Developmental Theory of occupational choice. “E. Ginzberg looks at occupational choice as a cumulative process of decision making, taking place in three stages closely linked to those of emotional and intellectual development. Fantasy choice is followed by a period tentative choice, then finally there is a period of realistic choice.” (White S. 1968) People’s...
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