Regional and gender differences in career goals of Chinese high school students: Interests, prestige and gender-typicality

Lai Yin Sarah WAN, Fanny Mui Ching CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This study examined the vocational interests, prestige and gender-typicality of career goals of three Chinese regional samples. 625, 750 and 747 high school students in Hong Kong (HK), Shanghai (SH) and Zhejiang (ZJ), respectively completed a questionnaire about their vocational interests and career goals. Results from SEM show support for Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), where Holland’s vocational interests (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, & Conventional) predict the corresponding interest type of career goals. Significant regional and gender differences were found in interest types. Specifically, Social and Enterprising are the most common types for girls in HK and ZJ, while Investigative and Enterprising are the most common types for boys in the two groups. In the SH group, Investigative and Enterprising types are the most common for both boys and girls. Across all three samples, Realistic and Artistic types are the least common for girls and boys respectively. Besides, the prestige level of goals (rated by International Socioeconomic Index of Occupational Status) for SH and ZJ is higher than that for HK. Male students showed a higher level of gender-typicality in goals (rated by percentage of same-sex incumbents in the occupations) as compared to female students in all regions. Present findings support the applicability of SCCT to Chinese samples, and inform researchers and practitioners about the career development of Chinese students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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prestige
regional difference
gender-specific factors
career
gender
school
Hong Kong
student
occupational status
female student
occupation
Group
questionnaire

Citation

Wan, L. Y. S., & Cheung, F. M. (2015, July). Regional and gender differences in career goals of Chinese high school students: Interests, prestige and gender-typicality. Paper presented at the 14th European Congress of Psychology (ECP2015): Linking technology and psychology: feeding the mind energy for life, Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Milan, Italy.