ASSIGNMENT 2: INDIVIDUAL PORTFOLIO
One of the many reasons why we all attend school and classes is for us to get ready and prepared for our future careers. However, in many instances, even with all the information that we learn from school, future careers present individuals with numerous challenges, which students have to address for them to become successful. The purpose of this research paper is to find out what kind of challenges students, and especially those from UEL, expect to face once they clear school and join their future professional careers. Furthermore, the paper will also look at a number of ways the students plan to use to eliminate or solve these problems. To achieve this, the research paper will utilize a number of tools such as questionnaires that will be prepared and given to about 30 students. The analysis of the answers the participants present are what will make the bulk of the paper. Alongside the paper, I will also provide a PowerPoint presentation, in addition to pie charts and bar charts of the results of the questionnaires to show data found from the study.
Numerous students, and not only those from UEL, face numerous difficulties as they transition from school to their future careers, and many students also have fears concerning several challenges that are associated with future careers. Though future professional careers can present a new individual with many problems, there are ways that scholars have identified that students can use to reduce the impacts of the transmission from being a student to being a profession in a certain career. This paper, as we have seen, will find out some of the most prevalent fears that students have of their future careers, and will use the findings of the study to recommend a number of ways the students can overcome their fears through solving these future problems.
The study will make use of questionnaires and interview questions directed to the students. The study will make use of about thirty students. In addition to this, the paper will also make use of the available literature to study more on these challenges and some of the recommendations that I might offer to these students to ease their transition from being students to professionals. The paper will present the results in an excel table, that I will later translate in bar and pie charts for easy analysis.
After the analysis of the results of the study, a few problems or challenges that I identified as potential stress- areas for students in their future professional careers. One of the challenges that were eminent was that many students were anxious about not being able to secure a job in their preferred professions. Many students were of the idea that the job market today has completely changed, and that they would find it difficult to secure a job. When asked how they were planning to solve this problem, a number of them indicated that they were going to pursue more education so for more qualification and distinction. Others indicated that they would search for jobs in more than one area of expertise to expand their chances of getting a job. According to a number of studies looked at during the research, it seemed that encouraging students not to give up was one effective of easing away anxiety. These studies advised parents and educators to continually encourage the students to view their careers as things that evolve over lifetimes. As it follows, this will enable students to see each step like graduation and searching for jobs just as some stages of the many in their career path (Bernstein 1997).
Another challenge that became prominent in the research was that many students in UEL had some expectations that were unrealistic about the professional and career areas. It was clear from the answers of some of these students that they expected to get high paying jobs immediately after school. Some of them expected their employers to place them in high levels of management even without experience. It seemed that their ideas of what a perfect job opportunity is, was distorted. Most of them placed wages and salaries higher than opportunities to grow and develop career wise. All the students seemed to care about was remuneration and the amount of money they would take home at the end of the day. According to the literature review conducted, unrealistic expectations of students of their future careers were shown as some of the most common problems. The studies specified that educators and mentors of students could address this challenge by quoting to students the most essential parts of a job, which are career growth and development and opportunities to grow and develop as a professional as opposed to remuneration and wages (Carnevale, Gainer and Meltzer 1988).
Another issue that was apparent after the study was that jobs and recruiters are not sufficient in the market. Most students argued that the available job opportunities availed to them in the market were not sufficient for all of them. Most of them could not find jobs after school because the job opportunities were simply not there. Recruiters and employers were few, as well, and students who had graduated were struggling for the few left. Some of them indicated that they could address this problem by differentiating themselves from the others by attaining more education, and by attaining more skills. Others felt that they could solve the problem by working without remuneration for skills and experiences. Studies looked at by the researchers indicated that this problem can be solved by attracting new employers with an impressive resume, appealing to alumni for job opportunities, or attesting summer jobs for experience and skills (Pew Research Centre 2010).
The survey also found that many students do not take advantage of what educators, mentors and job opportunities have to offer. For instance, some students indicated that they attended attachments and internships just because the school required it. They do not realise that these opportunities can be crucial in earning them future employment. Studies in the area urge students to take more interest in what their employers, teachers, and mentors have to offer, because it is from these entities that students obtain their knowledge, experience and skills required in their professional careers (Advanced Education Statistics 2011).
Other problems that became apparent from the study were that students feared that it would be difficult for them to keep their knowledge and skills up to date after they left school. Some of them indicated that they feared that their knowledge would become obsolete if they joined organizations that did not offer their employees periodic training programs. They argued that they could solve this problem through updating themselves constantly on their careers through the internet, books, and seminars. Studies on the area argue that one of the main challenges affecting organizations today is retention of information. The studies argue that organizations must offer their employees constant training aimed at revitalizing and adding to the information they possess of their professions (Surmounting Unique Challenges Statistics 2011).
The study also found that there were problems with rescinded offers, late offers and delayed start days that. Students feared that if these happen, the employers could reduce their chances of obtaining a job. As a result, of this, their expectations and motivation decreases. The students claimed that if this were to happen to them then they would make sure that they conduct the employers to ascertain that they still have a job opportunity. Experts advice companies and employers to avoid this by conducting the concerned student early enough to help them adjust their expectations (Gysbers and Henderson 1994).
The results of the study also indicated that some students and career candidates were alienating future employees. The study mostly found this to be, as a result, of high and unrealistic expectations some students had. The survey also found that some students from UEL had alienated and ruined the reputation of their school and, as a result, most of the employers were hesitant to give students from UEL a chance to work in their organizations. Students indicated that they could solve this problem by showing characters that were different from other students and by being unique. Research shows that some employers do alienate potential job candidates because of the reputation their school has. The reputation could hurt the other students since employers are sensitive to certain behaviours (Krumboltz 1996).
Lowered morale and motivation to find a job was also another challenge identified in the study. The study also found that many students did not feel motivated to find jobs because they were of the idea that there were no job opportunities in the market. The students indicated that their motivation could only improve if they found evidence indicating that there were available job opportunities for them. The studies show motivation as one of the most essential factors in determining enthusiasm and success of an individual (U.S. Department of Labour 1996).
Other issues that the study identified as challenges the UEL student were expecting to face in the future had to do with limited resources in terms of money and time. Most of them thought that time and money was essential in enabling them find work. Without these resources, they argued that they would not be able to find work. Some indicated that they would solve the problem by asking for financial support from parents or finding small jobs that would enable them to raise enough fees for their job search. Time and money are essential factors in determining whether individuals will find future work or not. The research also showed lack of support or limited support from close families and friends as a potential problem. Students were of the idea that once they cleared school, their parents would expect them to be on their own without the support of their parents or friends. As they argued, this could present them with numerous challenges that would make it difficult to find work (U.S. Department of Labour 1996).
Advanced Education Statistics 2011, Harris Interactive Career Study Millennial Data.
Bernstein, A 1997, ‘Commentary: Who says job anxiety is easing?’ Business Week.
Carnevale, AP, Gainer, LJ and Meltzer, AS 1988, Workplace basics: The skills employers want, American Society for Training and Development, Alexandria, VA.
Gysbers, NC and Henderson, P1994, Developing and managing your school guidance program, American Counselling Association, Alexandria, VA.
Krumboltz, JD 1996, ‘a learning theory of career counselling’, in M.L. Savickas & W.B. Walsh (Eds.), Handbook of career counselling theory and practice, Davies-Black, Palo Alto, CA.
Pew Research Centre 2010, The Millennials: Confident, Connected, Open to Change, accessed from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1501/millennials-new-survey-generational-personlity-upbeatopen-new-ideas-technology-bound
Surmounting Unique Challenges Statistics 2011, Harris Interactive Career Study Hiring Manager Data.
U.S. Department of Labour 1996, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Author Washington, DC.
Do you think you will have enough support from your parents and friends when you start searching for a job?
Do you think you will have enough resources in terms of money and time to look for a job in the future?
Do you think your school is being affected by bad reputation?
Do you think employers alienate candidates from your school?
Do you think you will suffer from decreased motivation or morale while you search for a job?
Do you think you will experience rescinded offers, late offers for jobs, or delayed start dates when you find a job?
Do you think your job will provide you with enough opportunities to retain and gain more knowledge?
Do you think you do not take advantage of the opportunities available to you know as a student, that might affect your chances of getting a job in the future?
Do you think there are enough jobs or recruiters to give each graduate a job after school?
Do you think you will suffer from anxiety when you fail to find a job as fast as you had expected?
Do you think your expectations of your future professional career are unrealistic or too many?
What are your plans for the future in terms of future professional career and employment opportunities?
Have these plans changed from time to time or they have remained the same over the years?
Do you think you will be able to achieve these plans or goals as expected.?
Answers to questionnaire questions
Question yes no probably not sure
a 20 5 2 3
b 18 7 3 2
c 13 7 5 5
d 15 4 10 1
e 13 16 0 1
f 10 16 2 1
g 12 8 7 3
h 14 6 6 4
i 17 3 3 7
j 17 3 2 8
k 11 9 9 1
l 20 0 0 10
m 17 2 6 5
n 6 14 0 10
Results in a Table
Answers to questionnaire questions Question Yes No Probably Not sure
A 20 5 2 3
B 18 7 3 2
C 13 7 5 5
D 15 4 10 1
E 13 16 0 1
F 10 16 2 1
G 12 8 7 3
H 14 6 6 4
I 17 3 3 7
J 17 3 2 8
K 11 9 9 1
L 20 0 0 10
M 17 2 6 5
N 6 14 0 10
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Bar chart EMBED MSGraph.Chart.8 s
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Power point presentation
Slide 1 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12 Slide 2 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12 Slide 3 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12 Slide 4 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12 Slide 5 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12 Slide 6 EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.12