Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Robert A. Williams

Second Advisor

George H. Akers

Third Advisor

Robert J. Cruise


Problem. The task of educating youth for the employment needs of a developing country such as Jamaica is a challenging one. Career aspirations is an important part of this process. Efforts are being made on the part of the Jamaican government to meet this continuing challenge, particularly at the secondary level.

Since no studies have previously been done to identify the career aspirations of Jamaican college students, it was the purpose of this study to identify those aspirations to determine is any significant difference exists between them and the manpower needs of the country. The problem of befitting youth for the world of work will be made easier if the educators and national planners are aware of the career aspirations of their youth, especially those at the college level. By this awareness program offerings can be studied for meeting the personal needs of students as well as guiding them into professions that are needed for the country.

Method. Fifteen colleges were chosen by a stratified random sampling method from among all independent and government (tertiary) institutions in jamaica, to include rural and urban colleges as well as colleges by type (i.e., teacher training, business and commercial, community, etcetera). All available seniors were tested representing a total of 695 seniors from a population of 790 which provided a sample size of 88 percent.

The Career Aspiration Form (CAF), which was an instrument particularly designed for the study, was used to collect the data. The CAF contained fifteen items. Analysis of the data was done using (1) Chi-square Goodness of Fit and chi-square Contingency computer programs to test for differences of significance among variables in hypotheses 1 and 2, (2) the statistical test for finding the Standard Error of a Proportion for sub-hypotheses dealing with differences in individual categories. Since the approach taken in the study was the "ex-post facto" causal-comparative method, data not receiving statistical analysis were reported descriptively. The Cramers Phi was used as a test for the strength of the differences for hypotheses 1 and 2.

Results. The analysis of the data yielded a statistically significant difference between the career aspirations of jamaican college seniors and the manpower needs of the country. The data also depicted a statistically significant difference between the career aspirations of seniors attending independent institutions and those attending government institutions. The strength of the difference indicated by the Cramers Phi was .70 and .57 for hypotheses 1 and 2, respectively. With an effect size of .50, the data summary not only revealed statistical significance but also practical significance. Analysis of sub-hypotheses 1A-1F resulted in statistically significant differences existing between the proportion of career aspirations of Jamaican college seniors and the proportion of need for personnel in each occupational category in jamaica.

Conclusions. The findings of this study suggest a disparate relationship between the career aspirations of Jamaican college students and the manpower needs of Jamaica. Students attending independent colleges have career aspirations that are significantly different to students attending private government institutions. Item responses to the CAF indicate that many students are not receiving professional help in career guidance, and so that educational program of the colleges do not adequately address itself either to the personal vocational development of the students or the manpower needs of jamaica. Both government and independent educational programs are in need of professional counselors and career education services to function in a manner that will narrow this existing existing gap between aspirations and manpower needs.

Subject Area

Vocational interests--Jamaica, College students--Jamaica

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