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Title:Doctoral students’ career decision-making process: comparing faculty and non-faculty careers from socio-cognitive and contextual perspectives
Author(s):Seo, Gaeun
Director of Research:Huang, Wen-Hao David
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Huang, Wen-Hao David
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hood, Denice Ward; Makela, Julia Panke; Ostler, Teresa Ann
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Human Resource Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Doctoral students
Knowledge workforce
Career decision-making process
Faculty career and non-faculty career paths
Post-graduate career choice
Abstract:Minimal extant research on doctoral students’ career development prohibits the customization of career preparation that is necessary to prepare them with competencies for achieving their career goals. Such research is particularly urgent as current academic job markets shift career placement patterns of doctoral recipients. This study addresses this need using mixed methods to investigate how doctoral candidates determine their career choices based on their sought career paths. Using Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) and Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) as theoretical frameworks, the study sought to 1) understand doctoral students’ career choice processes and 2) examine the career decision-making process differences based on their sought career paths (faculty versus non-faculty route). This exploratory study was conducted at a large, public, and research-oriented U.S. Midwestern university (USMU). Purposive sampling strategy was adopted by targeting “all-but-dissertation” (ABD) doctoral students regardless of affiliated discipline. This study employs a convergent parallel design mixed methods approach. SCCT guided quantitative research A total of 372 doctoral candidates responded to the survey, and analysis of covariance was conducted to identify group differences in the effects of environmental influences on their career choice process. Concurrently, structured interviews with 30 doctoral candidates were conducted to deeply understand their career decision-making processes step by step. The interview protocol was developed based on CIP theory and directed content analysis guided qualitative data analysis Finally, a joint matrix was used to merge these two data sets to identify overlapping and different facets of doctoral students’ career choice processes through triangulation. Several implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Issue Date:2017-04-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Gaeun Seo
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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