Investigating the factors influencing career preference amongst prospective and recent graduates in Ghana

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Companies are increasingly looking to employ the best talents to keep up in a rapidly changing business environment and to drive their strategies to achieve long-term growth. As a result of the high cost of recruiting from the mature and already existing labour pool to meet this need, many companies are reaching into the graduate employment market to recruit high potential fresh talent that can be groomed to occupy key positions. As the graduate employment market becomes more and more competitive each year, it has become important for employers to possess a good understanding of what goes into the decision-making of young talents when considering which employer to work for. To this end, this research sought to understand the factors that influence career preferences amongst this young talent pool. The focus was on prospective and recent university graduates. Through the use of online surveys, the study sampled responses from 121 final year students and young workers who have graduated from universities within the last 3 years. The study also made use of secondary data from articles, journals, books and the internet with Donald Super's career model serving as the theoretical framework From the findings, career preferences of the target group are influence by a combination of different factors. This reiterates Donald Super's career model that self-concept changes over time and as such, career preferences are also likely to change from time to time depending on the stage of a person's life. Subsequently, the factors that were found to be very important v for most respondents were: potential for career growth, the suitability of a career for the individual's personality, talent and ability, the expected monetary compensations, passion and interest for the particular industry as well as the opportunity to be innovative and creative
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2014
Ghana, career preferences, graduates