Factors influencing career maturity in the South African National Defence Force : a diagnostic approach
Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Military Skills Development System (MSDS) of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is the military contribution towards the South African National Skills Development Strategy. The purpose of this study was to determine if the SANDF is succeeding in contributing towards youth development, by investigating the career maturity (CM) of MSDS members. The adolescent years are a critical time for youth to explore and confirm their career choices, and to make major decisions at what can be perceived as a turning point in their lives. The factors that influence CM were investigated in order to determine the most suitable focus for possible career guidance programmes or interventions within the MSDS. A sample of 310 MSDS members was used to gather information on CM and the most prominent factors that have an impact on CM were identified from the literature review. Data was collected by means of administering five questionnaires; The Career Maturity Inventory- Revised short form (CMI-R), The Career Decision Self-Efficacy scale short form (CDSE), The Military Hardiness Scale (MHS), the Seven Habits Profile (SHP) and a Biographical Information Form (BIF). The CM of the MSDS members was found to be moderate. MSDS members seem to have high levels of confidence in their abilities to make career decisions (self-efficacy) and they perceive themselves as being hardy and having very good life skills. Moderate and weak, positive relationships were discovered between all twenty of the factors (scales and subscales of independent variables) and CM (dependent variable); however, they were not all significant. Multiple regression analysis resulted in a set of predictor variables (factors) which were used as the focus for recommendation on how CM may be improved for MSDS in the SANDF. These factors include: self-efficacy, seeking occupational information, self-appraisal, commitment, challenge, conscientiousness and continuous improvement.
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