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Exploring factors influencing career decision-making in first year students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal coming from rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Career psychology in the South African context was predominantly practiced on White learners from urban areas during the Apartheid era. Subsequent to the Apartheid era, the South African democratic government introduced a curriculum that ensured all learners in South Africa are equipped with skills to make good career decisions. However, post the Apartheid era, many Black African learners in South Africa, especially in rural communities, still do not have access to facilities that assist in career decision-making. This study explores factors that influenced career decision-making in first year students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) from the rural communities. The study is an exploratory research study and used the narrative approach to guide the data collection process. Non-probability sampling was used in the study to select the research participants. Purposive sampling and snowball sampling were used as the main strategies for sampling in the study. Focus group discussions (FGDs) and individual interviews were used as data collection strategies. Ten first year students of UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus participated in the study. Framework analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings of the study showed that in the process of career decision-making family and community influenced the first year students belonging in rural communities. The findings of the study are embedded in the context of the individuals, highlighting interconnectedness and communality that exist in rural communities. The study concludes that there is a need for career decision-making and career development approaches and theories that are embedded in African values.


Master of Social Science in Research Psychology. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2017.


Theses - Psychology.