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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Survey explores influences on youth workforce preparation


To develop programs and resources that help youth succeed in today’s workplace, it is important to understand the various factors that influence their career exploration and decision-making process. A survey was conducted with 1,433 high school seniors in Northern California. Results indicate that the number of young people planning to seek education or training beyond high school continues to rise. There are distinct differences in the educational aspirations and expectations among different ethnic groups.

The majority of students surveyed did not use school counseling services, and among those who did only a small percentage found them helpful. For most youth, parents are the primary source of help in preparing for further education and work. There is a strong positive relationship between academic achievement, and both participation in extracurricular activities and positive parent-child relations.

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