Career indecision amongst prospective university students
Van Reenen, Suleila
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Career indecision is one of the key aspects that professionals in career guidance counselling are interested in assessing. Career indecision, in the context of university students has been defined as the "inability to select a university major or occupation" (Borgen & Hiebert,2006, p. 58). Thus, with the purpose of addressing career indecision, the proposed study would examine the nature thereof amongst prospective university students. The prevalence of specific aspects of career maturity (namely, self-information, decision-making, career information,integration of self-information and career information, and career planning) underlying career indecision will be investigated, as well as the correlations between these aspects. In addition, the correlations between the aspects of career maturity and certain biographical variables such as gender, home language, declared career choice, differentiation of interests, and self-reported level of career indecision will be examined. Thus, career indecision is encapsulated as either a trait or state an individual encompasses. The term career indecision has been widely used with reference to problems relating to career development, particularly problems in making career-related decisions. The construct of career indecision is strongly coupled with society's expectations of certain chosen career paths and a strong belief that many should pursue these careers. Therefore, current societal trends push people to revise their career decisions over their life spans. As a result the perceptions and expectations that society holds can gravely impact a student's level of career readiness and the lack thereof. Furthermore, the role of the family as a fundamental influence on the career development of adolescents and young adults has been stressed by some classic theories of career development and choice. However, the exact nature and degree of the family's influence on career decision making is not completely understood. Thus, cognizance should be taken of the fact that there are multiple facets impacting on the levels of career indecision experienced by some and not all, prospective university students. Furthermore, deciding on a career is an most important aspect of individual's development and satisfaction and establishing what they are suited to do, and securing an opportunity to do it, is imperative to an individual's life goals. A biographical and Career Decision Making Difficulties Questionnaire was administered to respondents. The sample group (N=200) consists of Grade 10, 11 and 12 male and female students from model c, private and lower income schools in the Somerset West District in the Western Cape. Future research on career decision making difficulties experienced by students could yield interesting insights into the causes of these factors. The results indicate that irrespective of the type of high school these students attended, indecision exists and is prevalent amongst many students. Notwithstanding the insights derived from the current research, results need to be interpreted with caution since a convenience sample was used, therefore restricting the generalizability to the wider population of students.