1 OBS Business School (SPAIN)
2 Universitat Rovira i Virgili (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 611-616
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0248
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Although research on adolescents Career Choice (CC) stands long before the eighty century, young people and their future choices still occupies a broad spectrum in recent academic and policy discussion (Laughland et al., 2014, pp. 587). Moreover, research on this topic is to date needed to face real issues that have been occurring for years in different areas such as education. In fact, in the Spanish University context, the drop-out rates have increased over the year 2016 (Ministerio de Educación, 2016). This fact is explained by the career barriers that Spanish students, as well as other countries students, face. First, as a result of the financial crisis, the Spanish Government has increased the university registration fees, consequently some students are experiencing financial barriers that impede them to continue preparing for their future career. And, the second barrier is the lack of information that young people have about professions. As a consequence the image they hold about their future career is diffuse (Vondracek et al., 1990). As exposed by Holland et al. (1959, pp.40) ‘people with more information about the professional environment make more adequate choices than do people with less information.’

From the existing research on CC arises that Bachelor Degree Choice (BDC) is mediated by the influence of several factors such as Expected Outcomes ( i.g. Smitina, 2010; Agarwala, 2008; Taylor, 2009; Craik and Zaccaria, 2003; Edwars and Quinters, 2011) or Social Experience (i.g. Agarwala, 2008; Hervás et al., 2013; Keshishian et al., 2010) among others. Research is plenty of studies that aim to identify as well as measure the influence that these factors have on young people BDC (i.g. Agarwala, 2008; Ogowewo, 2010; Craik and Zaccaria, 2003). This topic has become significant because of its relevance on both recruitment strategies and students’ professional socialization at the university (Watt and Ricahrdson, 2007). In fact, the identification and measurement of these factors provides universities with relevant information about the aspects that young people value the most when choosing their Bachelor Degree. This information is important since it helps universities to decide where to allocate more or less resources not only in the recruitment process but also in the design of specific programs that help students in their Career Development.

The redesign of academic programs to guide students’ Career Development and enhance their professional socialization has implications, in the short term, for universities and students (i.g. higher willingness to learn, higher intrinsic motivation and lower drop-out rates) and, in the long term, for organizations (i.g. higher satisfaction, higher motivation and higher productivity) (Bjerregaard et al. 2016; Canrinus et al. 2012; Smitina 2010). The introduction of these programs is translated into a higher interest manifested by students on acquiring the relevant skills and knowledge that would let them to develop their future career; and, also, into future workers that would join a profession with which they feel strong ties and want to be part of (Tan et al. 2015).

Therefore, concerned with this lack of a valid instrument to measure the factors that influence BDC in different Bachelor Degrees, in this research, we develop and validate the Degree Choice Influence Scale (DECIS)
Bachelor Degree Choice, Career Choice, Influences.