University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 8464-8469
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.2305
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Despite the existence of Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes allowing dual certification (regular school and vocational diplomas) [1], the main aim of vocational courses is arguably the insertion of young people in the labor market. Still, there is a diversification of pathways for upper secondary vocational students [2], including continuing studies at a tertiary level. In fact, international statistics point to the increased number of vocational students that choose to pursue studies at a higher level [3, 4], encouraged, among several motivations, by the quest for social mobility [5]. Despite the relevance of this theme, studies that explore students' pathways after the completion of upper secondary vocational education are still scarce. To fill this gap, the article synthesizes and reviews literature contributions with the purpose of identifying the factors that explain the adoption of each of the pathways (working, continuing to study, or neither) by upper secondary education VET students.As a result, the article provides a comprehensive list of factors associated with career choices after completion of VET secondary studies and proposes a set of research questions and hypotheses for future testing. Overall, the study shows that VET deserves urgent consideration by researchers and offers valuable insights for academics, students, parents, and decision makers alike.

[1] Polidano, C., & Tabasso, D. (2016). Fully integrating upper-secondary vocational and academic courses: A flexible new way? Economics of Education Review, 55, 117–131.
[2] Catterall, J., Davis, J., & Yang, D. F. (2014). Facilitating the learning journey from vocational education and training to higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(2), 242–255.
[3 ]Barber, T., & Netherton, C. (2018). Transitioning between vocational and university education in Australia: the impact of the vocational education experience on becoming a university student. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 1–19.
[4] Biewen, M., & Tapalaga, M. (2016). Life-cycle educational choices in a system with early tracking and “second chance” options R. Economics of Education Review, 56, 80–94.
[5] Webb, S., Bathmaker, A. M., Gale, T., Hodge, S., Parker, S., & Rawolle, S. (2017). Higher vocational education and social mobility: educational participation in Australia and England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 69(1), 147–167.
Post-secondary pathways, social mobility, employability, studies continuation, VET success factors.