LACK OF INFORMATION ABOUT CAREER OPTIONS FOR CAREER DECISIONS DURING THE ERA OF TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITALIZATION
Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Many people, particularly the younger generation, struggle to decide on the right career path in this era of technology and digitalization. The primary reason is that current jobs change quickly, and there is a lack of information about career options for those looking for new career paths. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this situation has worsened, as most youths struggle to find jobs they love. Moreover, most human resources directors complain about the lack of talents, interests, and competencies for specific positions, especially technology- and innovation-based positions.
To understand the situation in Turkey, a qualitative research study was conducted to investigate the challenges faced by university students in Turkish universities due to the lack of information about career options to guide their career decisions. This lack of information was critically analyzed among 35 university students who will graduate in two years. Using 15 semi-structured interview questions in the virtual meetings, the data were collected and analyzed in the NVivo system. Three qualitative research questions were systematically designed to investigate the main reasons under the following three key subjects: (1) What are the main reasons for the lack of information about career options for the university students’ career decisions? (2) How will the lack of information about career options impact the university students’ career decisions? (3) How can the lack of information about career options be decreased to improve the university students’ career decisions?
After the data were clustered and analyzed under the three research questions, the results answered the following question: “What are the main reasons for the lack of information about career options for the university students’ career decisions?” The participants pointed out that the main reason was the limited number of university–industry partnerships in their fields; this meant that they did not know what was required for different career options. Additionally, they were unsure about the futures of their industries—consequently, they did not have plans for their careers. The results also answered the second research question: “How will the lack of information about career options impact the university students?” Most participants experienced career indecision and confusion, as they were dealing with symptoms of depression and emotional distress and had dysfunctional career thoughts and occupational indecisions. Finally, the results answered the third research question: “How can the lack of information about career options be decreased to improve university students’ career decisions?” The participants pointed out their need for a mentoring system to support them at the beginning of their career processes. Some of them mentioned the importance of career offices that would promote a sense of belonging.
Keywords: career counseling, career options, career decisions, career offices, university students, higher education, industry 4.0, digitalization, career development