boys aim higher than girls

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boys aim higher than girls


From the age of 18, young men aspire to occupations with a much higher social status than that of young women, according to research published on Tuesday.


This phenomenon may contribute to the fact that young women - despite their better academic results - are quickly left behind in the labor market.


© Keystone
This phenomenon may contribute to the fact that young women – despite their better academic results – are quickly left behind in the labor market.


From the age of 18, young men have much higher professional aspirations than young women. At the age of 15 already, young people adapt their professional aspirations to the possibilities that seem realistic to them in relation to their school career, according to a study.

Various factors influence career aspirations, including the type of post-compulsory training and the level of parental education, according to this rresearch published in the journal Social Change in Switzerland.

Irene Kriesi and Ariane Basler, of the Federal Institute for Advanced Studies in Vocational Training, used data from the COCON survey on children and youth, which repeatedly interviewed more than 1,000 young people aged between 15 and 21 years old. about their career aspirations.

At the end of compulsory education, young women most often want to become commercial employees, doctors or early childhood educators. Young men want to become computer scientists, professional athletes or auto mechanics.

The status of the desired professions is closely linked to the type of post-compulsory training. 15-year-old girls thus most often want to become a doctor, veterinarian, lawyer or primary school teacher. On the other hand, 15-year-old girls who start an apprenticeship with average or low educational requirements aspire to occupations with a much lower status: care and health assistant, retail employee, early childhood educator or florist.

Change at 18

From the age of 18, young men aspire to professions with a much higher social status than that of young women. The differences diminish until the age of 21, but remain. This may contribute to the fact that young women – despite their better academic results – are quickly left behind in the job market, according to the authors.

Finally, the training of parents plays a decisive role. Among young people with comparable educational results, those whose parents have tertiary education have higher career aspirations than young people with parents without tertiary education.

The creation of the professional maturity and the universities of applied sciences in the 1990s markedly improved the vertical permeability of vocational training in the universities.

The obstacles to admission to universities, but also to higher vocational training, however, remain considerable for some of the apprentices enrolled in the vocational training system, according to the findings of this research published on Tuesday.

This suggests that these institutional barriers prevent some of the young people from realizing the professional aspirations that they revised upwards during their initial training. Removing these obstacles could therefore help facilitate changes in orientation during careers and training.

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