This paper describes the process of making educational and occupational choices of students from late secondary school to end of undergraduate education. It is based on a study on educational choices and occupational aspirations of first year and final year undergraduate students at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. In-depth interviews were conducted among 30 first and final year students to collect data for this study. The data were analyzed to describe the process of making educational and occupational choices by students using qualitative data analysis software. The process of making educational and occupational choice is complex and spans over many years. The process of making educational and occupational choices can be divided into four stages: during secondary school; while applying for a bachelor’s degree programme; when accepting and enrolling in a bachelor’s degree programme; and, prior to the completion of a bachelor’s degree programme. At each stage their choices may be guided by factors such as parental expectation, academic performance, their interests and job opportunity. Students may change their preferences at these stages based on the perceived chances of obtaining an educational programme or occupation and their goals.
|Keywords:||Educational Choice, Occupational Aspiration, Qualitative Methods|
Lecturer, Anthropology and Sociology Section, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
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