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Careers in sustainability: an application of Social Cognitive Career Theory

Abstract

Adolescents’ interests and goals for pursuing a career in the environmental, social and economic sustainability domains were explored within the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) framework. Respondents were secondary school graduates from Croatia who participated in an online study (N = 582). Using SEM, the SCCT model was confirmed as an adequate framework for conceptualizing the origins of career interests and goals in the three sustainability domains, especially with contextual supports and barriers included as both direct and indirect effects (via learning experiences, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations) on goals. Implications of results for career guidance practice and policies are discussed.

Resumé

Carrières professionnelles et développement durable: Une application de la théorie sociale cognitive de la carrière. Les intérêts et objectifs des adolescent·e·s quant à la poursuite d’une carrière dans les domaines de la durabilité environnementale, sociale et économique ont été explorés dans le cadre de la Théorie sociale cognitive de la carrière (TSCC). Les participant·e·s étaient des diplômé·e·s de l’enseignement secondaire de Croatie qui ont pris part à une étude en ligne (N = 582). En utilisant la modélisation en équations structurelles, il a été confirmé que le modèle TSCC constitue un cadre adéquat pour conceptualiser les origines des intérêts et objectifs de carrière dans les trois types de durabilité, en particulier lorsque les soutiens contextuels et les obstacles étaient inclus à la fois comme effets directs et indirects (via les expériences d’apprentissage, l’auto-efficacité et les résultats attendus) sur les buts. Les implications des résultats pour la pratique et les politiques d’orientation professionnelle sont discutées.

Zusammenfassung

Nachhaltige Laufbahnen: Eine Anwendung der Sozial-kognitiven Laufbahntheorie. Die Interessen und Ziele von Jugendlichen, die eine berufliche Laufbahn im Bereich der Umwelt-, Sozialen- oder Ökonomischen Nachhaltigkeit anstreben, wurden innerhalb des Modells der Sozial-kognitiven Laufbahntheorie (SCCT) exploriert. Die Befragten waren Kroatische Schüler mit Mittelschulabschluss, die an einer online Studie (N = 582) teilgenommen haben. Das SCCT Modell wurde mittels SEM als adäquates Rahmenmodell bestätigt, welches die Herkunft von beruflichen Interessen und Zielen auf drei Nachhaltigkeitsdimensionen, insbesondere mit Hinblick auf kontextbezogene Unterstützung und Hindernisse, inkludiert als direkter und indirekter Effekt (via Lernerfahrungen, Selbstwirksamkeit und Ergebniserwartungen) auf die Ziele. Implikationen der Ergebnisse für die Praxis der Laufbahnberatung und für Strategien werden diskutiert.

Resumen

Carreras en sostenibilidad: una aplicación de la teoria social cognitiva de la carrera. Los intereses y objectivos de los adolescentes por seguir una carrera en los dominios de la sostenibilidad ambiental, social y económica han sido explorados en el marco de la teoria social cognitiva de la carrera (SCCT). Los encuestados fueron gaduados de educación secundaria de Coracia que participaron en el estudio en línea (N = 582). Usando SEM, el modelo SCCT fue confirmado como un marco adecuado para conceptualizar los orígenes del interés y objetivos de carrera en tres dominios de la sostenibilidad, especiamente con apoyos y barreras contextuales incluídos como efectos directos e indirectos (a través de las experiencias de aprendizaje, la auto-eficacia y las expectativas de resultado) en los objetivos. Se discuten también las implicaciones de los resultados para las políticas y la práctica de la orientación para la carrera.

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Acknowledgements

This work has been fully supported by the Croatian Science Foundation under the Project Number 1229.

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Correspondence to Iva Šverko.

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Međugorac, V., Šverko, I. & Babarović, T. Careers in sustainability: an application of Social Cognitive Career Theory. Int J Educ Vocat Guidance 20, 477–499 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10775-019-09413-3

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Keywords

  • Social Cognitive Career Theory
  • Sustainability
  • Green vocational guidance