Title

Career decision making : career episodes of four postgraduate students in a private university in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

There are three components to making a career decision: knowledge about self, knowledge about success and what it takes to be successful in a certain occupation, and finally knowledge oflogical reasoning and knowing how it can be used to determine if a match exists between the two (Parson,1909). The aim of the research was to investigate the way postgraduate students of a private university in Karachi, Pakistan make their career decisions, as well as to highlight the factors that influence them and explorethe career advice they seek for making their career choices. The qualitative data was collected through a selected sample of postgraduate regular students (N=4) studying in a private university of the city of Karachi. Semi-structured open-ended interviews were conducted with students during university hours. The findings of the study revealed that all the students make their career decisions in different ways. Mostly the decisionsare made with the influence of male members within families particularly with the influence of the ‘father’ due to which students areunable to pursue the careers they dream of. The other factors that influence the career decisions of postgraduate students are: conditional family support; contextual factors such as lack of career guidance and counselling, lack of knowledge about labour market and emerging career trends. Therefore their main focus remains on finding a job that enables them to get high remuneration rather than focusing towards a strong career. Furthermore, it was also found that thestudents’ career decisions change overtime at various stages of their lives. This indicates a low satisfaction and confidence level of students regarding their future careers. Moreover, difference in ways of making career decisions is found among male and female research participants. Males gain more independence in making career decisions as they start earning and grow professionally, while females remain dependentuponfamily instructions throughout their lives pertaining to their career decisions.

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