The perception of career barriers among South African university students

Bester, Jonell (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: It has become evident over the past several years that there are a substantial number and a variety of career-related barriers that individuals perceive and experience in the workplace and that consequently interfere with their career development. Up to date, a vast amount of studies have investigated and reported on this topic world wide, yet little research has been gathered regarding the career-related barriers that South African citizens, especially students from higher educational institutions, perceive or experience. The aim and purpose of this quantitative research study was therefore to explore the diverse barrier perceptions and experiences of South African university students by means of determining the degree to which a range of internal and external barriers would hinder or has hindered their career development and whether these barriers (a) vary by gender, (b) vary by race/ethnicity and (c) vary by course level or academic year of study. In order to meet the study objectives and answer the three primary research hypotheses (a, b and c), respondents were invited via electronic mail to participate in a once-off online survey which consisted of a demographic questionnaire and the Career Barriers Inventory-Revised (CBI-R) (Swanson, Daniels, & Tokar, 1996). The results of the three primary research hypotheses indicated that the nature or type of career-related barriers perceived and experienced by the sample of South African university students (N = 1897) differed significantly among gender, racial-ethnic groups and course level or academic year of study. Significant gender differences were found on all 13 CBI-R scales, racial-ethnic differences on 9 of the 13 CBI-R scales (both assessed by means of a one-way independent ANOVA) and course level or academic year of study differences on 3 of the 13 CBI-R scales (measured by Spearman’s correlation coefficient). The present research study therefore revealed descriptive and exploratory baseline data regarding the perceived career barriers among South African university students and clearly demonstrated the CBI-R’s validity and applicability in the South African student context. Awareness of these students’ barrier perceptions can be a useful tool in planning and developing future intervention strategies for coping with and overcoming obstacles to their career progress.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Oor die afgelope paar jaar het dit aan die lig gekom dat daar ‘n groot aantal en ‘n verskeidenheid loopbaanverwante hindernisse is wat individue waarneem en ondervind in die werksplek en wat gevolglik inmeng met hul loopbaanontwikkeling. Tot op hede is daar ‘n groot aantal studies wat hierdie onderwerp wêreldwyd ondersoek en daaroor berig het, tog is daar slegs ‘n klein hoeveelheid navorsing gedoen met betrekking tot die loopbaanverwante hindernisse wat Suid-Afrikaanse burgers, veral studente in hoëronderwys opvoedkundige instellings, waarneem en ondervind. Die doel en voorneme van hierdie kwantitatiewe navorsingstudie was gevolglik om die diverse hindernispersepsies en -ervarings van Suid-Afrikaanse universiteitstudente te bestudeer deur die graad te bepaal waartoe ‘n verskeidenheid interne en eksterne hindernisse hul loopbaanontwikkeling sal bemoeilik (of reeds het) en of hierdie hindernisse (a) verskil van geslag, (b) verskil van ras/etnisiteit en (c) verskil van kursusvlak of akademiese jaar van studie. Om aan die doel van hierdie studie te voldoen en die drie primêre navorsingshipoteses (a, b en c) te beantwoord, is respondente deur middel van elektroniese pos uitgenooi om aan ‘n eenmalige aanlyn-opname deel te neem wat die voltooing van ‘n demografiese vraelys en die Career Barriers Inventory-Revised (CBI-R) (Swanson, Daniels, & Tokar, 1996) behels het. Die resultate van die drie primêre navorsingshipoteses het aangedui dat die aard of tipe loopbaanverwante hindernisse wat deur die steekproef Suid-Afrikaanse studente (N = 1897) waargeneem en ondervind word, beduidend verskil ten op sigte van geslag, ras/etniese groep en kursusvlak of akademiese jaar van studie. Beduidende geslagsverskille is gevind op al 13 CBI-R skale, ras/etniese verskille op 9 van die 13 CBI-R skale (albei geassesseer deur middel van ‘n eenrigting onafhanklike ANOVA) en kursusvlak of akademiese jaar van studie verskille op 3 van die 13 CBI-R skale (gemeet deur Spearman se korrelasie koëffisiënt). Die huidige navorsingstudie het dus beskrywende en ondersoekende grondslag-data aangaande die waargenome loopbaanhindernisse van Suid Afrikaanse studente onthul en het duidelik die CBI-R se geldigheid en toepaslikheid in die Suid-Afrikaanse studente-konteks gedemonstreer. Bewustheid van hierdie studente se hindernispersepsies kan ‘n nuttige maatstaf wees in die beplanning en ontwikkeling van toekomstige intervensiestrategieë vir die hantering en oorwinning van struikelblokke tot hul loopbaanvordering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6719
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