UNIVERSITY STUDENT PROFESSIONAL CAREER: UNDERSTANDING STRUCTURE
Authors: Vincentas Lamanauskas, Dalia Augienė
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University study period in a certain sense is a successive step to future career heights. In this respect, it is very important for the students to evaluate the appearing possibilities as early as possible, to purposefully get ready for professional activity after the graduation of university studies. On the other hand, the individual career understanding of every student is likely to be different. Career understanding is constantly changing and this change is conditioned by various factors.
Career understanding experiences constant change. Nowadays, career is understood not as resolute climbing of the career ladder. Objectively valued work achievements such as high position, scientific and pedagogic degrees, qualification level showing diplomas, certificates become of little value, if a person does not feel satisfied with his life and activity. Career is considered a phenomenon, for which, first of all, the responsibility must take the individual himself. Today, it is not enough to match the individual to his performed job or profession, to orientate him or direct in one or another known beforehand direction. It is necessary for the individual to know himself, and to take action in constructing his unique career, consciously choosing what is most acceptable, suitable for him. The individual, creating his unique career model, can lay emphasis on and regard as important one or the other factors in his career model and have an individual his career phenomenon understanding.
Career understanding can also be conditioned by the social processes going on, their importance perception and possible influence on successful career. The environment investigation helps to look more deeply into labour market, into the spheres or organisations where someone wants to work or employ himself. Evaluating this aspect family influence can also be important, the influence of friends, economic, community influence and so on. Therefore, social context significance evaluation can have influence on a career as a phenomenon perception.
Thus, the object of the research is the first course university student career understanding. The aim of the research is to analyse career understanding structure. 265 first course students from three Lithuanian universities participated in the research. 38 statement factorial analysis about career understanding was carried out. In fact, career understanding can be defined by 6 main factors: career as a professional achievement (SI=0.80; SD=0.16, career as personal improvement (SI=0.78; SD=0.16), career as self-realisation (SI=0.76; SD=0.15), career as social relations (SI=0.67; SD=0.22), career as leadership (SI=0.65; SD=0.17) and career as social status (SI=0.60; SD=0.20).
Students, studying in social and humanitarian science programmes, usually understand career as professional achievement (experience accumulation, rise, progress, going forward, well-performed work, possibility to become one of the best experts in one’s own sphere).
A great number of students understand career as personal improvement (inner potential realisation, individual improvement in successfully chosen activity sphere, lifelong lasting teaching and working path, creative aim satisfaction, professional self-expression, goal attainment and ambition satisfaction).
A little smaller part of the students understand career as self-realisation (finding a job, which is pleasant to do, work as a calling, improvement in the direction of a chosen activity).
Part of the students understand career as social relations, which are made meaningful by social relation development, man’s cultural and moral maturity, strong bonds with community, nation. A small part of students understand career as leadership (power and responsibility growth, free activity choice, managing the group of people). The smallest part of students emphasize social status in career understanding.
For the boys, social activity is more important. Therefore, they more often than girls understand career as personal improvement, as self-realisation, as social relations.