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Career Development - Needs of the Disadvantaged

At the end of high school the young person is faced with important questions linked to career development and planning for the future. Children from more privileged homes begin to move towards career preparation spontaneously. Career development for the less privileged is not as smooth or automatic. Financial pressures require the economically disadvantaged adolescent to begin earning as quickly as possible. This situation creates certain unique career planning needs. Young people from disadvantaged homes typically demonstrate a short term view of the future that could cause them to enter the world of work soon after high school, as unskilled labourers. This may yield an immediate earning. However, in the long term, the unskilled young person is on a trajectory toward chronic unemployment and under-employment. We have observed that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds view career preparation itself with scepticism. Negative career beliefs predispose the disadvantaged student to place a low value on developing work skills, appearing for and passing examinations, completing high school and persisting toward career goals.

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