An analysis of selected variables which affect the career selection process in undergraduate university students



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Research literature indicates that although many individuals and institutions are interested in trying to understand the career/vocational selection process, efforts are needed to better understand the step in that process of choosing an educational field of study. Individuals who are undecided or unsure of an educational field (major) have been shown to represent a population with specific problems and needs. This research study is an attempt to better understand these individuals, where they are in their career selection process, and how they might be helped. One attempt to explain how individuals make educational/career decisions has been made by John D. Krumboltz in this theory 'A Social Learning Theory of Career Selection'. Krumboltz explains career selection as the culmination of a lifelong process which is influenced by the individual and societal factors which interact to produce three kinds of consequences or outcomes: Self Observation Generalizations (SOGs), Task Approach Skills (TASs), and Actions (ACTs). Focusing on these outcomes, an instrument, the Career Selection Awareness Inventory (CSAI), was developed to be used in this research. It was designed to yield three scores about an individual's career related experiences, one for each of the three areas of SOGs, TASs, and ACTs. A pilot study was conducted to obtain CSAI test-retest and internal consistency data. Based On these analyses, the CSAI proved to be a reliable instrument for this study. The population studied in this research was newly admitted students to the University of Houston, Central Campus, Houston, Texas, who participated in a Fall Semester, 1979, orientation program. Two subgroups within this population were of primary interest: individuals registering for the fall semester with a Decided chosen field of study (major) and individuals registering as Undecided about a major. Two-hundred thirty-three (233) students participated in this study, 175 of which were Decided and 58 who were Undecided. [...]