his paper extends an in-depth, comprehensive research on the socio- environmental influences on career choices of novice undergraduates in Malaysia. It elaborates the various trends that is being adopted by today’s contemporary undergraduate society and how it affects or influences their career-making decisions. The focal point of thee research paper in the usage of the PICK Model by Gait & Asher (2001) and how it has aided many undergraduates to obtain more insight towards career decision making skills.
This paper also takes a critical perspective on career choice as one Of the main foci on this paper would be the gaps from previous researches and the proper implications that could possibly enhance the future studies and researches in this area. This paper concentrates on the possible gaps of previous researches and also the intensity of the effect of gender and academic achievement on career choice of Malaysian Undergraduates by reviewing two research questions: “Do high academic achievers find it more difficult do choose a career compared to lower academic achievers? , and “Does gender have a significant effect on career choices of undergraduates in Malaysia? “. Concise and thorough evaluation of past research has been done and given much attention in order to pick out the gaps and flaws that have not been given much attention to. These evaluations and answers to the said research would hopefully provide sufficient information for further researches to be done in order to obtain maximum information and insight regarding the topic of career choices naming undergraduates in Malaysia.
Overview of Research Topic Description of Research Area For most individuals, the whole idea of a career choice that leads to their rarer development is very often regarded as a lifelong process of ensuring that the choice of employment opportunities are made as available as possible to them. There are many factors that play a pivotal role in influencing the individual through the process of making his or her choice of career. These may include educational attainment, personal aptitudes, the context in which they live, their social environment, and even socio-economic status (SEES) (Bandeau, Barreling, Capybara, & Pastorally, 2001).
Blessing, Phillips, Jobbing-Davis, Fingerling, & Rework, 1997 have researched ND proven that a vital turning point in the lives of many if not the majority of adolescence generally occurs while they are in their “undergraduate” level of life. Society often regards this stage of a person’s life as a time where individuals are often prepared or given proper exposure in establishing a career path. A major turning point in adolescents’ lives involves the career choice that they make while in high school.
Frequently, it is viewed by family and community as a mere start to workplace readiness; however, this decision plays a major role in establishing youth in a career path that opens as well as loses opportunities. Given the differences in the social and economic context of college-bound versus work-bound adolescents (Blessing, Phillips, Jobbing- Davis, Fingerling, & Rework, 1997), a study was designed to explore the factors that influence rural young adults’ selection of specific careers. Recent scholarship shows that vocational interests are less related to Asian American’s career choice.
Asian American might choose their career based on their family’s mission rather on their own interests, which may lead to occupational incongruence (Kin, 2010). It is very often that we come across the word “career”. What most people fail to realize is that this simple word carries many different yet closely related meanings. One of the layman ways that we usually define this term would be by an individual’s method, way or trade of making a living in a particular society. A fair majority of people often interchangeable use the word “career” with words such as ‘]bobs”, or “occupations”.
When we hear experts speak of career choice, it is very commonly referred to as the deciding process or the factors involved in the choice of career of an individual. Another method in defining the term “career” would be a listing or series of al the occupations a person had held over the span of his or her lifetime. Career decision making refers to the process people go through when they search for viable career alternatives, compare them and then choose one” (Gait & Asher, 2001). These occupations or jobs that people experience or go through during their life span will very often reflect an upward trajectory.
This shows that the person would be entitled or exposed to much more pressure, responsibility, competition, and prestigious compensations with each subsequent post he or she has held. When the term “career choice” is brought about, ideas such as required education and training career outlook, job description, and salary often do pop up (Gait & Asher, 2001 We also have to realize that there are many other factors that exist and may prove as an influence in the career choice of an individual (Gait & Asher, 2001). The PICK had three stage model for career decision.
The three stages were; Pre-screening the potential set of alternatives through structured search based on the individual ‘s preferences (motives), resulting in promising alternatives, In-depth exploration of the promising alternatives, resulting in few suitable options that were left for the object(s) or participants to chose from. There are currently many discussions that are on the rise when it comes to career decision making, as the public is beginning to realism that there are many factors that play a role in determining a person’s career choice.
Among the most sought after or aimed topics are models that outline and define the career decision-making process (Brown, 1990). Almost every model proves that the career decision-making process happens by the candidate going through a series of predefined phases, although different steps may be given o recognize the processes that take place (Gait, Sheehan, & Given, 1993; Peterson, Sampson, & Reardon, 1991). This is also evident for some of the most latest models of career decision-making.
I have come across many other models that assists an individual in making proper career choices besides the PICK model, such as the COD (Career Decision-making Difficulties Questionnaire), the CADS (Career Decision- making Style Questionnaire), and the NUMB (Making Better Career Decisions). The reason to why I have opted to chose the PICK model ahead of all the other models and questionnaires is simple because it is rather clear that when an individual completes the PICK models amongst all the others, he or she is much more able to Come up with a proper career choice or career option.
In my opinion, this is because the PICK model contains a much more interactive and responsive step-by-step method in helping the individual determine his or her job scope according to many or at least enough social and environmental factors. Before explaining a little more in-depth regarding the PICK model, I would first like to elaborate on the processes moss people go through before making a basic decision when it comes to career chose. To do this, I would eve to refer to the work of Gait, Krause, Mission (1 996), who came up with “Possible focuses of Career-Making Difficulties”.
It is found out that many people, prior to engaging themselves in a search for a preferred career, often find themselves at a phase Of “lacking readiness”. This is due to lack of motivation, indecisiveness, and dysfunctional beliefs. And as for those who already have engaged in the process of looking for a suitable preferred career, they often find themselves sandwiched between phases of “lacking information” and “inconsistent information”.
In the “lacking of information hash, individuals are mostly unable to decide simply because they do not have sufficient information regarding CDC (Career Decision Making), themselves, occupations that are available, and way of obtaining the information they would need for a proper career choice. As for the “Inconsistent information” phase, many of the related individuals find that this is due to unreliable information, internal conflicts ( problems regarding ones self), and also external conflicts (problems involving outsiders or outside factors).
In the pre-screening Stage Of the PICK model, candidates will be required to achieve a common goal which happens to be able to locate a small set of promising alternatives (preferable 7 alternatives) that they would presume to deserve further, in-depth exploration. A method of sequential elimination would be used here where the candidates would be required to do 4 things which are; to locate and prioritize relevant aspects or factors, explicate within- aspect preferences, eliminate incompatible alternatives, and to check list of promising alternatives.
The outcome of the pre-screening stage would result in a list of promising alternatives that would deserve more in-depth exploration (Gait & Asher, 2001 ). As for the In-depth exploration stage, the main goal here would be for the candidates to not only locate alternatives that they’d deem promising but also those that are regarded as suitable for the candidate. In this stage, the candidate would then proceed to focus on the promising alertness’s and also evaluate them to gauge how suitable they are for the candidate (this usually involves a lot of self exploration and personal preferences).
The outcome of this stage would provide the candidate with 3 or 4 suitable career options (Gait & Asher, 2001 Lastly but definitely not the least, in the Choice stage, candidates would be required to choose the most preferred and suitable alternative and then proceed to rank these alternatives in the order that favors the candidate the most. By this stage, the candidate usually has a rather clear idea on the preferred choice of career path to pursue (Gait & Asher, 2001).
Scope and Focus of Theoretical Paper From early on in the research of this paper, I thought it would be vital to clear off any central doubts that enrolling into a particular tertiary education course meant that students were finally narrowing down their interest of cope of career, and were committing themselves toward a particular type of profession. It must not be oblivious to us that there are certain sectors of education in this world that commonly ends up in little to no employment, and high levels of wastage of human talent (Swinish, 1967).
With this prevailing truth, many people were beginning to perceive that further education represented a poor second choice (Swinish, 1967). There have been several gaps that I have discovered in most of the journals that I have read through. Have decided to focus on the two main gaps which gaslight the fact that the point of gender being a possible determinant of career choice was not focused on in many of the available studies that have been done by Abdullah, Ihram & Mohamed (2009). In their study, a research was conducted to determine the career interests of university students.
Two hundred and thirty-eight undergraduates were introduced and used in this study. They consisted of a total of 101 males and 137 females who were currently attending three public universities in Malaysia. They reported that there was a significant different of realistic career interest pattern between ale and female students, and merely that. Student career preference patterns were drawn but unfortunately, there were no proper reasons to why there was a gender preference of career options or the possible factors that influenced the results of their study.
This, found to be a major gap as the pivotal part of obtaining results to a research would be to underline the variables that were involved. Another gap would be that none of the studies have actually come up with a proper theory or conclusion to whether high academic achieving individuals have a higher or lower acceptance towards rarer choice compared to lower scoring or lower academic achieving individuals. This was researched by Manson & Tan (2009), where they hypothesized that there is no significant relationship between academic achievement and career indecision among Malaysian undergraduate students.
This research was followed by results that state that there happens to be no significant correlation between academic achievement and career indecision among Malaysian undergraduates. There also have been researches that have proven that booth these factors; high academic achieving and gender may have a pivotal role to play in the career decisions of a person. Research undertaken by the Royal Society of Chemistry (ARCS) has shown that equal numbers Of men and Women consider a career in chemistry, but men and women make different career choices.
More men than women consider or undertake post-doctoral research in higher education. Women are apparently more likely than men to take up positions outside higher education; for example, in analytical chemistry or in training and education within higher education. Results also have proven that a higher proportion of women study chemistry at first degree level than either physics or engineering chemistry is sees successful than either subject at subsequently drawing women into an academic career.
These gaps have enabled me to come up with my research questions. Research Question 1 : “Do high academic achievers find it more difficult do choose a career compared to lower academic achievers? ” This research question was formed following the study done by Manson & Tan (2009) titled Predictors of Career Indecision Among Malaysian Undergraduate Students, who stated in one of their hypotheses that there is no significant relationship between academic achievement and career indecision among Malaysian undergraduate students.
Research Question 2 : “Does gender have a significant effect on career choices of undergraduates in Malaysia? ‘ This research questions was also adopted from the same Malaysian based study that had another hypothesis that suggested that there is no significant relationship between gender and career indecision among Malaysian undergraduate students, and another research done by Abdullah, Ihram & Mohamed (2009). It also has been researched that female students currently outnumber male students in universities.
Their academic scores/grades aren’t very different from the male students. A study by ABA. Ihram (1995) proved that CAP of female and male students did not have any significant differences. Why I chose this as a research questions is because not only were the results insufficient for a proper conclusion in the study by Abdullah, Ihram & Mohamed (2009), but there were no other researches done in this area to represent the gender differences on career choices in a Malaysian setting.
From the various researches that have obtained, it was clear that there were more than the ordinary factors of mere interest and passion that drove the undergraduates towards their career choices. Many psychologists and sociologists focus on the key importance of factors such as need for achievement, peer group attitudes, family background, and cultural norms in their explanations of the choice process. These professionals have examined these factors and relative importance of the economic costs and benefits in the determination of career choice (Dodge & Swan, 1971). Forever on the other hand have decided to put full attention on the two research questions that have formed, and to focus on “gender and “academic achievement” ad the two main variables in this research paper. Justification for choosing research topic/area The main reason have chosen this research topic/area was simply because this paper was basically written in order to obtain sufficient information regarding this area in order to assist career seekers through their journey in finding the right career and how the possible deciding factors can be properly evaluated and dealt with.
It has become rather obvious that in the Malaysian employment market, the level of required qualifications and experience is becoming increasingly demanding as this country shifts its gear towards a knowledge-driven economy (Ministry, Baker, Mohamed, 2009). It is clear that we do have all the sources we need in terms Of man power and knowledge, but the problem is that it remains untapped. In my personal opinion, this is simply because the level of awareness on how important a career decision is yet to be instilled within the minds of today’s young undergraduates.
According to Malaysian Economic Report (2005), the rate of unemployment was at 3. 5% in 2004, and 3. 8% in 2005. Unemployment among fresh graduates is a problem that can be noticed across many nations and it could very well be caused by many different influences In Malaysian culture, many youngsters possess great reams about completing and graduating from high school, attending university, and obtaining a job with a good stable income (Ministry, Baker, Mohamed, 2009).
Before there may be any misconception as to why I have chosen to only include “Undergraduates” and not “high school” graduates in this paper of research, I would like to elaborate on the fact that have stated earlier on in this paper that the pursue of a career decision generally occurs while an adolescent or individual is in his/her “undergraduate” level of life (Blessing, Phillips, Jobbing-Davis, Fingerling & Rework, 1997). This is because it is at this tag when most people have a better molded idea and perception of their future after sufficient experience and exposure towards different types of personalities, subjects, and study material. rarer indecision in return reflects student’s career readiness or maturity as students that are undecided about their career have trouble with decision making (Washrooms, Shovel, & Rivers, 1 997; Lucas & Person, 1988). To the contrary, it would be almost impossible for a person to be able to obtain a proper idea of his or her career choice or pathway whilst still in a high-school level or setting, due to the lack of exposure towards the outside world such as a corporate working culture, group projects and different types of study material.
Hence, why had chosen to link my study with the career choices of undergraduates instead of high school students or even postgraduate students is simply because some students do not begin to explore ‘real’ career possibilities until after high school graduation (Brother, 2002). Studies by Brother (2002) also have shown that 86% of postgraduate students already have a clear career choice for themselves. After revising and reading through many research papers, I have come to mind out that the most important assumption is that careers are being segregated and divided according to gender.
For example, the nursing profession has been monopolized by the woman, and careers such as business, real estate and entrepreneur jobs are being flooded by male gender. Career choices among males and females are usually varied because of the difference they both possess in their individual self-concepts. Studies (Adamson Walbridge, 1986; Best, 1983; and Spender, 1982) concluded that women preferred to choose a very narrow range of stereotypically feminine occupations.
There happens to be a gender-role stereotyping in expressing vocational interest among gender whereby male preferred realistic and investigative occupations and female on the other hand preferred social type of occupations (Beet and Hackett, 1981 Studies have been done by BEMA (1981) and Beet (1994) who have opted to find out the contributing factors relevant to the development of gender differences in preferences in interest towards a vocationally set career.
They generally concluded that the development of both gender difference in ‘Vocational interests” as well as “vocational choices” is a product of a ambition of many factors, some of which are internally related to the individual, and some that are environmentally related to the individual. This is where the term “socio-environmental influences” comes in handy as it would mean a certain amount of combination of both social factors and environmental ones as well. In another study conducted by Beet (1994), it had been concluded that occupational stereotype is one Of the main factors affecting the vocational interest of different genders.
On that note, many people tend to have the assumption that occupations are specifically signed to be only appropriate for one gender and not for the other gender. In general, female dominates today’s workforce. Likewise, female students outnumbered male students in many universities. Their academic abilities are not much different from their male friend (Ministry, Baker, Mohamed, 2009). This now brings me to my second research question on whether academic achievement does play a role in whether the person would have a better or worse ability in a career decision making process.
Bandeau (1986) had stated that influence of a person ‘s academic motivation would become powerful predictors of the academic choice one ends up aging. How this tallies with this research paper is by ensuring that a person has been provided with sufficient information about his or her preferred field of study, he or she will most definitely be able to pursue and have a clearer idea of the type of occupation to look forward to. This in turn would indirectly lead to that particular individual understanding more about his or her subject of interest and thus scoring highly and being able to obtain excellent academic results.
Lent and Hackett (1987) also predicted that self-efficacy is related to college majors and career choices. For example, if an individual goes not believe that he or she is capable of pursuing science related educational and careers, one will not hesitate not to enroll in those areas or study. However, one may have enrolled in these areas but one may not have the required efficacy or career interest pattern. To relate this to the local Malaysian undergraduates’ setting, I have come to understand that university education in Malaysia is quite a rigid system where it indirectly enforces the role of university career counselors.
When given enough thought and consideration, the role of counselors in this situation are very important, pivotal and critical. In layman terms, like it or not, any individual who has been enrolled into a course has to somehow proceed with the given course of study by hook or crook. And this type of an education system forces them to have to be counseled to be able to adapt to the course of study offered to them. Another study done in an American setting showed that women make up the majority of undergraduate students in U. S. Alleges and universities now, but they only represent only a small and declining proportion of science or mathematics majors (Green 1989). Penthouse women with Bachelor’s egress enroll themselves in graduate school in the same number or ratio as men do, but somehow they stop their studies at the Masters degree or drop out of Ph. D. Programs in the natural sciences and engineering at much alarming rates than do men (Widely 1988). This trend has shown that its the female gender role expectation that has not allowed them to pursue a career of a much higher caliber. M not saying that there are absolutely no women who have reached the highest level of academics or the labor force world, but in comparison to the male gender, it definitely has created a very large AP in between them. Definition and Description of Relevant Constructs As previously mentioned above in the Overview section of this proposal, the main point would be to elaborate on the whole idea of career choice. However, I would like to thoroughly describe and define the title of this study.
Firstly, when the term “Socio-environmental” is brought forward, other similar synonymic terms such as social context, calculators context, or milieu would come to mind. It basically refers to the immediate physical and/or social background in which individuals live or in which something occurs or evolves. This also would then include the culture that the individual was brought up in or currently lives in, and the common surrounding people, institutions and society in which they interact with. There are six main factors that I realized are indeed very vital in influencing the career choice of local novice undergraduates here in Malaysia.
These factors consist of Friends, Extended Family, Teacher or Career advisor, Culture, Media Information, and Parents. It is a very often assumed fact that social and cultural environment influences career choice (Goblins, SKU & Reorders, 2004). These mentioned factors are those of which usually are associated with society. When it comes to being environmentally affected, it’s these exact Same factors also which play a pivotal role in determining the intensity of how the environment plays a role on the career decisions of an individual.
Since the focus of this paper would be the PICK model by Gait & Asher (2001), am going to elaborate more on the preference section in which would act as a common phase for most candidates who use the model. Examples of the preferences that might run through the minds of the candidates would robbery be; type of company, surrounding environment, attitudes of colleagues, nature of the company, outdoor or indoor setting, active or sedentary work, and many more. To start of, I would like to relate to a research done by Ferry (2006) which reported about the great impact that family, school, and community have upon young adults’ career choice.
All these factors stated are important in affecting the adolescents’ perception of self, educational efficacy, and vocational interests. The study also contributes to the understanding of the pivotal role all parents play in shaping the ideal career choice of their children Ferry, 2006). Through educational expectations and perceptions of occupational appropriateness, parents were found to have key roles in shaping career choices (Super, Cassava, & Super,1996).
The stud’s finding of the impact that the broader context of the school and community environment has in supporting or delaying career decision-making extends the understanding of the importance these entities have upon adolescents’ identity and occupational goals. Both culture and family go hand in hand with each other each to expand, or limit our reality. Culture, primarily creates and presents reality. Family members help us come up with proper choices and make sense of that reality. Culture provides the action; parents and extended family provide the tools for reflection on that action.
Families also help children form values with which to make judgments about the reality that culture presents. Culture has a very large take on career choice. Many people living in the Americas are constantly experiencing a national culture through media which is very often made available available throughout the 50 states namely through the TV, the Internet, newspapers and magazines (Christen, 2010) . Frequently viewed shows such as Hannah Montana, USA Today, and Good Morning America, Youth all aim to influence the beliefs systems, the perceptions and behaviors of its viewers.
What gets across to the viewers and how it gets across may actually influence many viewer choices in terms of occupational and consumer. Literature Review The first research that I would like to review would be the one done by Manson & Tan (2009). Here, they conducted a study whereby the aim of this study was to find out the determining factors of career indecision amongst undergraduates in Malaysia. The results and data for this research was valuated the use of a self-administered questionnaire.
The total number Of participants in this study Were 1229 and they were recruited from a total Of four public universities. They were all identified by using multistage stratified sampling. The Career Factor Inventory (COIF) (Chartered, Robbins, Merrill & Bogs, 1990) was then put into use to measure the level of career indecision among the undergraduates, while the My Vocational Situation (Holland, 1980) was used to measure the three core dimensions of career identity namely vocational identity, occupational information and career barriers.
The multiple regression analysis had then been run and it ultimately indicated that female undergraduates with a higher academic achievement and low occupational information, antinational identity had a much higher likelihood to have decided on their choice or path of their career. Another study that I reviewed was one that was carried out to determine the career interests of university students. Two hundred and thirty-eight undergraduate students were used in the study. They formed a total of of 101 male and 1 37 female students who currently are studying three public universities in Malaysia.
They recorded that was a significant difference of realistic career interest trend between male and female students. The objective of this research was to uncover the career interest pattern of undergraduates who are attending public universities in Malaysia. The population that was involved for this study were third and second year undergraduates attending public universities in Malaysia. The cluster random sampling process was then used to select the sample whereby classes were the clusters and all students in the selected classes were the respondents.