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Career Goals in High School: Do Students Know What It Takes to Reach Them, and Does It Matter?

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  • Frenette, Marc

Abstract

Do students know the education required to achieve their career objectives? Is this information related to their education pathways? To address these questions, the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS), Cohort A is used to compare high school students' perceptions of the level of education they will require for the job they intend to hold at age 30, with the level required according to professional job analysts at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The focus is on students intending to work in a job which requires a university degree, and examine the correlation between the knowledge of educational requirements and subsequent university enrolment. The results suggest that about three out of four students intending to work in a job requiring a university degree are aware of the education they will require. Evidence suggests that knowledge of educational requirements is related to academic performance and socio-economic background. Differences by intended occupation are quite small. Moreover, students who know that a university degree is required are more likely to attend university, even after accounting for differences in academic performance, sex, and socioeconomic background. In fact, the knowledge of educational requirements is as strongly related to university attendance as other well-documented correlates such as sex, academic performance and parental education. Finally, higher university attendance rates are observed when students learn earlier (rather than later), that a university degree is required for their intended job.

Suggested Citation

  • Frenette, Marc, 2009. "Career Goals in High School: Do Students Know What It Takes to Reach Them, and Does It Matter?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2009320e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2009320e
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    Cited by:

    1. Christofides, Louis N. & Hoy, Michael & Milla, Joniada & Stengos, Thanasis, 2012. "Grades, Aspirations and Post-Secondary Education Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Children and youth; Education; Education; training and learning; Educational attainment;

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