Family influences on career decisions by black first-year students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal : a qualitative study.
Mhlongo, Ziphozethu Sibonelo.
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This study used a qualitative methodology to investigate black first - year students’ perceptions of their families’ influence in their career decisions. This was motivated by the fact that, post 1994, the number of career options available to black students has increased. As more opportunities become available, it is vital that student s entering tertiary education are equipped with the necessary skills and support to make informed career decisions. There a re a number of individual and environmental influences on career decisions. This study focused specifically on family and community influences. Fifteen participants (aged 18 to 30 years) were interviewed in order to answer the research questions. There wer e nine female and six male participants. The data was analysed through thematic analysis and suggested that there is a strong link between a family’s socio - economic status and student career decisions. In addition, the availability of family socio-emotional support was also found to be a major influence in career decisions. The dissertation concludes that appropriate career education and guidance are essential for previously disadvantaged tertiary education students in order for them to maximise the opportunities available to them