Career decision-making: 'I don't think twice, but it'll be all right'

Paul Greenbank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is based on in-depth interviews carried out with students in their first and final years of undergraduate study. The paper examines how students approached career decision-making and the rationale underpinning the approach they adopted. The research found that students were not utilising the type of rational approaches to career decision-making promoted by policymakers, careers professionals and the educational system. This was because students tended to be present- rather than future-orientated; they had a predisposition to an extrinsic locus of control and dependency rather than agency; and they preferred to make decisions using informally absorbed information and their intuition.The paper concludes by suggesting that colleges and universities should encourage students to critically evaluate the way they currently make decisions and support the development of their students’ decision-making skills so that they can make more rational career decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number2
Early online date17 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • agency
  • career decision-making
  • employability
  • intuition
  • rationality


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