OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Differences in Future Orientation for University Students with and without High School Paid Work Experience


The discussion about the effect of high school paid work experience (HS-PWE) influencing university students’ future orientation for the domain of work-career (FO-WC), has received little attention. The limited empirical research available shows inconsistencies and mixed results of the factors that influence FO-WC. This study examined the impact of HS-PWE in FO-WC among low-income ethnic minority university students. A quantitative approach, quasi-experimental design explored the research question using only a single subject group, one-time post-test questionnaire (Creswell, 2014). Donald E. Super’s career development theory was used to explore the research question (Super, 1978; Super, 1980). A university student sample completed the Future Orientation Questionnaire for the domain of Work-Career, which consists of the components cognition, motivation, and behavior (FOQ-WC; Seginer, 2009). Using FOQ-WC, an independent t-test was conducted to determine differences between No HS-PWE (group 1) and Yes HS-PWE (group 2) FOQ-WC total mean scores. A separate Chi-square test was conducted to determine the relationships between HS-PWE (group 1, group 2) and status of currently working in/or- moving closer to the career students’ wish to have (No, Yes). Preliminary results illustrated a complex picture and encouraged further research to clarify the impact of HS-PWE in FO-WC among low-income ethnic minority university students. In conclusion, career awareness and exploration helped HS students develop, explore and construct a career plan, which eventually fostered FO-WC during their attendance in a higher education institution.

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