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Early ambitions make a big difference to career outcomes

Written by Alexandra Hansen, Editor, The Conversation

Young people who have early ambitions for study and their career are more likely to succeed than those who haven’t thought about life after high school.

New research shows having a career or strategic plan early in life is important to determining success in terms of completing Year 12, going on to further study and having a successful career.

Those who have no plans for what they might do after school are less likely to have a successful career, the report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research showed.

High aspirations have a similar impact on Year 12 completion and university participation for all students. This includes low socio-economic groups and Indigenous students, although those in disadvantaged groups were less likely to have high aspirations.

“The factors affecting the educational and occupational aspirations of young Australians” examined young people from the 2009 cohort of the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. The research examined what drove young people to complete Year 12, to begin university study in the first year after leaving high school, and occupational aspirations at age 15 about the job they expected to have at 25.

Parents’ aspirations for the child and their own educational levels were significantly associated with whether the students would complete Year 12 and go on to further study.

Students whose parents want them to attend university are four times more likely to complete Year 12. They are 12 times more likely to go on to higher education compared with those whose parents expect them to choose a non-university pathway.

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Posted 7 April 2014 Posted in General