Career exploration via cooperative education and lifespan occupational choice

Patricia L Linn, Jane Ferguson, Katie Egart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Career exploration by Antioch College students who graduated between 1946 and 1955 (N=73) was studied to determine relationships between the occupational categories of cooperative education jobs taken in college (obtained from a campus archive) and subsequent work histories (obtained from surveying the graduates at about 70 years). Five hypotheses were tested. Results supported four of the hypotheses, with partial support for the fifth. Co-op jobs taken by the sample represented each of 23 occupational classifications, and most graduates took post-graduate jobs in occupational functions and contexts they had explored as co-op students. High levels of individuality in use of the co-op program and in career paths were found. Four co-op-to-career patterns were described, based on the degree to which functions and contexts were explored during college and career; a case study was included to exemplify each pattern. Gender differences were revealed in the patterns, but not the group data. Job context was particularly important in defining these patterns. Implications for research and practice were discussed tentatively, however given the lack of a control group, characteristics of the study sample, and particularities of the historical era studied, the ability to generalize beyond the study sample is limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)430-447
    JournalJournal of Vocational Behaviour
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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