A Latent Profile Analysis of Career Competence in German Vocational Schools

Svenja Ohlemann, Katja Driesel-Lange

Abstrakt


Vocational schools are the backbone of Germany's dual training system and it is expected that students in such schools have successfully mastered their first career-related decision. However, previous research suggests that attending a vocational school is often based more on practical considerations than on an informed careerdecision making process. Therefore, questions arise about the state of vocational students' career competences and how to support their development on an individual basis. This study aims to shed light on the developmental patterns of students' career competences at German vocational schools. Latent profile analysis of career competence was therefore conducted with data from vocational school students (N = 453). Data collection took place in 2017 in four vocational schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. The participants were on average 18.20 years old (SD = 1.65), and 48% of them were female. Using a standardized questionnaire, they self-assessed 12 facets of their career competences. The results showed 3 profile groups that followed a similar pattern regarding the 12 career competence facets. They mainly differed in their overall career competence level: low developed, intermediate and advanced. Furthermore, a fourth profile that diverged from the three other profiles in terms of career pattern was identified: highly concerned/little-stress-resistant. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed statistical differences among these profile groups in the 12 career competence facets. Multinomial logistic regressions showed significant effects from gender and concrete career aspirations on profile affiliation. Limitations of the study, practical implications, and issues for future research are discussed.

Klíčová slova


career competence; latent profile analysis; vocational school; career education

https://doi.org/10.5817/SP2019-2-2

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