Author: Waugh, Russell
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
This paper reports on the preliminary analysis of a study of the job and educational aspirations of 1183 students from Year 8 to Year 11 in Perth, Western Australia. Four aspects, a realistic short term choice, a realistic long term choice, an idealistic short term choice and an idealistic long term choice are considered to be indicators of two underlying traits, level of educational aspirations and level of job aspirations. Students responded to questions on each of the four aspects in terms of a list of educational levels ranked by status, and separately, in terms of a list of jobs ranked by status. The results support the view that the four aspects are indicators of the underlying trait, level of educational aspirations, when the items are related to educational status levels. However, while the results also support the view that the four aspects can also be indicators of the underlying trait, level of job aspirations, when the items are related to jobs ranked by status, the analysis shows that the items of this measure need refinement, possibly by making the job descriptions more general. The educational choices of the students show that most students wish to stay on, at least to Year 12, and that most want to go further to TAFE and University studies. The job choices show that while most students are aiming for high status jobs, with many probably making unrealistic choices, the choices of the older students are more realistic than those of the younger students. While there are many similarities between the job choices of the males and the females, there are still some strong differences.