The main aim of this doctoral study is to generate new knowledge on career development learning with reference to decision-making amongst young people in S2-S6 (aged 12-18) who are preparing for their lives beyond school education. As well as developing theoretical insight, the findings will contribute to the effective design and delivery of enhanced careers services that take into account the means by which these young people recognise, respond to, and make decisions about varied learning and career opportunities.
Recognising the crucial role of information in career decision-making, the focus of the work is the identification of means of enhancing career information literacy amongst young people as key to their career development learning, and to their future career success in the challenging employment environment of the Information Society.
Mixed multi-methods will be deployed to gather and analyse data to address five research questions:
RQ1: How do young people recognise, respond to, and make decisions about the varied learning and career opportunities (e.g. vocational versus academic) available to them?
RQ2: To what extent have the responses of young people to information on different career pathways (e.g. modern/foundation/graduate apprenticeships, academic) changed over time?
RQ3: How can career information literacy be developed amongst young people so that they are best equipped to engage effectively in career development learning and career decision-making?
RQ4: How should information on career development be delivered to young people for the best outcomes?
RQ5: How do variables related to demographics of young people (e.g. gender) and features of information (e.g. format) influence career decision-making behaviours?
It is anticipated that this research will furnish improved understanding of current levels of career agency amongst young people in respect of their decision-making. Furthermore it will provide recommendations for implementation that will lead to improved confidence and self-efficacy. The capacity for lifelong learning amongst this population will also be enhanced due to improved skills in critical thinking, reflection, research capability, problem solving, social engagement, and professional engagement.