Career decision-making difficulties among university students: does employment status matter?

Abdulfattah Yaghi, Nizar Alabed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The study adapted the Career Decision Making Difficulties Questionnaire for the Arab world. The purpose of the study was to test a popular but scientifically unverified belief that people who were employed could experience less CDD. Design/methodology/approach: Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire was administered to a sample of 500 university students to analyze CDD among full-time and part-time students and examine whether employment status determines to what extent they experience these difficulties. Univariate and bivariate analyses were used. Findings: Employment status had no statistically significant effect on students' perceptions of CDD; 6 demographic variables were significantly correlated with CDD (gender, age, income, university grade-point average, satisfaction with the current major and social status); and students had dysfunctional beliefs about the career decision-making process, lack self-awareness, and had inconsistent information about internal and external difficulties. Research limitations/implications: Universities should design adequate career interventions before and after graduation and employers should implement human resource policies that reduce CDD and their negative impact on the workplace. Other methods of data collection and analysis could also be useful in the future, such as interviews. While scope of the study was acceptable, comparing countries and public versus private institutions could produce valuable findings. Practical implications: The study tested and validated ACDDQ which could be used as diagnostic instrument to design career interventions and training programs. Employers need to allocate resources in the recruitment process to help potential recruits to understand the nature of work, processes, and requirements. Educators need to provide better coaching and career education for students, especially those in senior years. Social implications: Understanding career decision-making difficulties and factors that influence them will influence long-term human resource management, especially productivity, turn over and job satisfaction. Originality/value: The study examined the important issue of difficulties in making career decisions among two groups of university students. With more employees go back to college for more education, it was not clear in the literature how career decisions might differ between the two groups. The issue was under-researched, especially within Arab countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1159
Number of pages17
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 19 2021


  • Arab
  • Career intervention
  • Human resources management
  • Students
  • Vocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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