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Schooling, career choice and occupational attainments: review of research and policy attainments

Currie, J. (1977) Schooling, career choice and occupational attainments: review of research and policy attainments. Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A.

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This paper reviews the major studies of career choice and occupational attainment among secondary school students and graduates both in Australia and overseas, focusing on the differential patterns that individuals pursue dependent upon their social class and sex. It first examines the basic path model that was developed by Blau and Duncan (1967) which examined the occupational attainment process among the adult male labour force in the US. In addition, it briefly summarises the findings from researchers that applied this path model (or similar procedures) in many countries around the world for students and adults of all ages. The main aim of this exercise is to identify significant factors that could be used in exploring the occupational attainment process among Western Australian secondary school graduates, focusing on determinants of three clusters of variables: educational aspirations and occupational aspirations (including career choice and career commitment), educational attainment (including academic achievement), and occupational status. This discussion begins by looking at factors that affect occupational status and then work back to the earlier stages of life. A concluding section examines past research findings in light of possible trends and suggestions for those making policy decisions about career guidance facilities and labour market or manpower projections that may affect secondary school students.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Series Name: Western Australian Career Development Project; Report No. 1
Publisher: Murdoch University
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