Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Occpational Exploration in German Secondary Schools. What it is, How Schools Foster it and How Students Perceive the Support.

Heinrichs, Karin

The tranistion from school to work or university is a big challenge even for students attending  grammar schools ("Gymnasien") in Germany, a challenge that is growing daunting due to the current explosion of available vocational training opportunities and university study programmes. Students have to research all the information relevant to their career choice and decide which occupations will best fit their interests and abilities. Kracke (2001) or Blostein et al. (1994) call this behaviour "occupational exploration". Occupational exploration points to a personal determinant predicting job satisfaction and which can be supported by parents and schools. It is therefore common for scondary schools to offer opportunities to gather career-relevant information. In this paper we will examine (1) how students explore, (2) how schools foster occupational exploration, and (3) how students perceive the assistance they receive from their schools. 279 adolescents completed a questionnaire (Kracke 2001) on their occupational exploriation process and how their school helped orient them with regard to study programmes and vocational training. Results indicate a rather high level of exploratory behaviour, which is influenced by personality traits such als problem-solving skills and openess to new situations. Most students at the beginning of their last year of school have at least a general idea of what they want to do after graduation. The support the schools are offering is generally considered to be useful.

Keywords: Occupational Exploration, secondary schools, Germany, career choice
Year: 2013
Book Title: Transitions in Vocational Education
ISBN: 978-3-8474-0017-2
Adress: Opladen
Editor: Seifried, Jürgen; Wuttke, Eveline
Volume: 2
Publisher: Barbara Budrich
Pages: 37-55