Research: Top concerned problems expected by the students in their future professional careers

By | April 20, 2014

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Part 1. Research………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

  1. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

1.1      Definition of key terms…………………………………………………………………….. 2

  1. Objectives………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

2.1      Identify the top concerned problems expected by the UEL students in their future professional careers 3

2.2      Understand the UEL students’ plans to tackle such problems………………… 3

2.3      Analyze the causes of problem…………………………………………………………… 3

2.4      Provide recommendations on how to address some problems………………… 3

  1. Research methods……………………………………………………………………………………… 3

3.1      Participants selection and sampling…………………………………………………….. 3

3.2      Data collection…………………………………………………………………………………. 4

3.3      Questionnaire and interview design……………………………………………………. 4

3.4      Procedure………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

  1. Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

4.1      Ranking of top concerns……………………………………………………………………. 5

4.2      UEL students’ plans to tackle the given problems………………………………… 6

4.3      Other findings…………………………………………………………………………………. 7

  1. Recommendations on how to address some problems……………………………………. 7

5.1      Legal awareness teaching………………………………………………………………….. 7

5.2      Encourage to take part-time job…………………………………………………………. 8

5.3      Promotion and education of the communication skills………………………….. 8

5.4      Encourage the design of personal career development plan……………………. 9

Part 2. Personal development plan……………………………………………………………………. 10

5.5      Where am I now…………………………………………………………………………….. 10

5.6      Who I want to be……………………………………………………………………………. 10

5.7      How I will fulfill it…………………………………………………………………………. 11

List of reference…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

Appendix 1.0 QUESTIONNAIRE FOR UEL STUDENTS……………………………….. 13

 

Assignment 2

Part 1. Research

Question chosen:

What problems do UEL students expect to face in their future professional careers and what are their plans to overcome them?

1.        Introduction

As we (the UEL students) are getting closer to the graduation, many of us are worrying about how to go through the transition from a student to a qualified employee in various positions. Among the students’ top concerns, one key concern will be about what problems that we will expect to encounter in our future professional careers and what could be done right now to prepare and avoid the possible problems in the future.

 

1.1    Definition of key terms

Simple random sampling: a method of sampling in which at every sampling unit will have the same possibility to be chosen and included in the sample (Bernstein, S. & Bernstein, R. 1999, p.90).

Cultural shock: a disorientation experienced when the learned cultural maps and guidelines no longer work (Elmer 2002, p.44)

Workforce diversity: a concept that encompasses group and situational identities of the organization’s employees such as age and sex orientation (Hubbard 2004, p.27).

Glass ceiling: a mechanism of exclusion and selection, the dynamics of which forms a barrier for women’s careers (Van Vianen & Fischer 2002)

 

2.        Objectives

 

2.1    Identify the top concerned problems expected by the UEL students in their future professional careers

 

2.2    Understand the UEL students’ plans to tackle such problems

 

2.3    Analyze the causes of problem

 

2.4    Provide recommendations on how to address some problems

 

3.        Research methods

 

3.1    Participants selection and sampling

As required by the question topic, this study will focus on research of the UEL students about the future difficulties in their career life in their perception. In this regard, all UEL students of any grade will be eligible to be invited to join this study. As our study can not survey all the UEL students, we will do a sampling of 20 UEL students using a simple random sampling method.

 

3.2    Data collection

Regarding the data collection methods which usually include interviews, observations, survey and review of relative books and publications, we will use two major methods here: interview and survey. According to Jan Riordan (2005, p.670), in-depth unstructured interview could help see into the interviewees’ feeling in the given topics and get their subjective ideas. Another important data collection method is the survey, or anonymous self report questionnaire to be specific, which is a standardized, paper-and-pencil measure that is usually low in cost and easy to proceed (Barlow 2008, p.635) to collect the needed data.

 

3.3    Questionnaire and interview design

 

Please refer to the appendix for the questionnaire sample. And the interview will be following the questionnaire, but questions will not be defined and can be asked freely by the interviewers based on the answers provided by the interviewees.

 

3.4    Procedure

First I will print out about 40 questionnaire paper though our sampling is only 20 in case that some questionnaire papers could be lost and made of no use by any means; secondly, I will ask two and three friends of mine to help me do the interview and collect the questionnaire papers and the papers must be collected immediately in the spot; the location will be set to be in the place near the school where the majority of the UEL students will come across.

 

4.        Analysis

 

4.1    Ranking of top concerns

Figure1.0 The top concerns in future work among UEL students
By analyzing the results of the paper on the answers to the question that “What problems do you expect when you start working after graduation?”, we conclude that the ranking of the top concerns in the brain of the UEL students are: Not enough of working experience (15 students selected), Not enough of professional skills (14 students), Cultural shocks (5 students), Work force diversities issues (3 students), Legal issues (1 students). As 2 of the respondents choose not to work after graduation, the percentage of the top concerns among the students should be calculated based on a total of 18 as following: Not enough of working experience (83.33% students selected), Not enough of professional skills (77.78% students), Cultural shocks (27.78% students), Work force diversities issues (16.67% students), Legal issues (5.56% students). From the later interview, we have ask a number of questions about these concerns, we find out one key problem among the students is that they normally do not assume there will be any legal issues which actually happen a lot when we first sign up the contract with a company. And among the concerns, the “Not enough of working experience (83.33% students selected)” is the no.1 concern, and after we interview the students we identify the reason which is because most of the participants do not work before, hence they would worry about being lack of relevant experiences.

4.2    UEL students’ plans to tackle the given problems

By analyzing the results of the paper on the answers to the question that “How do you prepare to tackle these issues and problems?”, among the 18 students who would like to work after UEL program we conclude the following ranking in term of the plans to tackle the given problems: By studying the relative business skills (94.44%), Obtain help from families and friends (83.33%), By extensive reading (33.33%), Nothing to prepared (22.22%).  Talk to the managers (11.11%). Based on the results of the survey, we can see that the majority of the respondents are still using the familiar ways such as studying theories and books, talk to friends and families and extensive reading, but very few of them (only 11.11%) choose to talk to the managers which as a matter of fact is a very useful way to handle the problems. This also shows that UEL students have very little working experiences which have been confirmed by the later interview. What is more, the 22.22% students who expressed that there is nothing prepared, when we asked them why they would think there is nothing to prepared, they suggested that actually they do not know which way to choose as they did not face the similar cases before and had not even think about the possible plans.

4.3    Other findings

According to the results from both the survey and the interviews, we can see that many of the students are not sure about the future occupational direction of their career; in another word they are quite confused about their future. Some of them, mostly the international students, suggested that their families may have some arrangements for them after graduation though many of them want to stay oversea and get some experiences in a different cultural environment and also practice their English. Also some of them are trying to avoid facing the job market by choosing to continue to study a higher degree such as MBA in Malaysia and other countries. When asked why they make such decisions, they answered that they did not know what to do and since the families also support the pursuit of higher education, they made such decisions.

 

5.        Recommendations on how to address some problems

 

5.1    Legal awareness teaching

As many of the students do not have a legal awareness when they leave the university, it is recommended that students learn about legal issues that could happen and also obtain help from any friends, family and teachers, and the UEL and the university could also hold seminars with students regarding the legal issues that student could face in the future career life. Case studies would be of great help to the education of the legal awareness.

5.2    Encourage to take part-time job

As have “Not enough of working experience (83.33% students selected)” is considered as the top concern in the brain of the UEL students based on the finding of the questionnaire, it is recommended to the UEL students to take some part time jobs especially during the long holidays. This is expected to increase students’ working experiences. What is more, taking part time jobs would expose the students to the actual working conditions and make them more familiar with the basic business practices and functions such as computer usage and how to communicate with another department.

5.3    Promotion and education of the communication skills

As concluded above, regarding how to tackle the named future challenges, the majority of the students are still have their plans limited on the ways such as learning and studying and talking to friends and families, but they would not choose to talk to their managers. One recommended way to tackle this problem is to encourage the students to learn the communication skills and use them in an actual situation. It is very important for the UEL students to think that they should keep close communication with their direct boss and also their colleagues.

5.4    Encourage the design of personal career development plan

As found during the interviews, some of students are trying to avoid facing the job market by choosing to continue to study a higher degree such as MBA in Malaysia and other countries, it is recommended that these students take a testing about what they really want to be and what job they would like to do because not all jobs need a higher education background and some positions may focus more on working experiences. These students could write down a long term plan for their own personal career development and after writing up such plans they would know better what they really desire rather than listening to other people’s suggestions which could be very subjective.

 

 

 

Part 2. Personal development plan

 

5.5    Where am I now

 

Since I was a child, I had known that I would start a business that belongs to me. My father and mother also are very supportive to my dream, and they create conditions to show their support and sending me to study oversea is also one of their decisions to support my career life development. I have been working very hard to study the knowledge that I can learn from the books, but learning only knowledge on the books and papers seem does not make me very confident about how to start a business after my graduation. For example, through out the studies, I have come to learn a number of analytical tools such as PESTEL, SWOT and Porter’s five forces but I do not know how to apply them in the actual business cases. What is more, the books do not tell me how to register a new business and how to raise the initial funds.

 

5.6    Who I want to be

 

As just said, I would like to start my own business eventually, but with the said confusions, I think I would need to learn more and get some actual working experience before I can really become confident about my future business. Based on this understanding, I would select to work in companies of a particular industry which would like to create my own business in, to have myself immersed in the business behaviors that I should understand, and increase my management skills that I would need to use in the future to better manage my business and employees.

 

5.7    How I will fulfill it

 

Beside the decision to take a job in the companies after my graduation, now I will focus on doing three things to help me to achieve my final target of setting a business. First of all, I will need to continue to improve my study to get better score and grades in my subjects, the improved study not only will help me to learn more theories and skills but it will also make me more competitive in the future job market. I also believe that a capable person will be able to manage both study and working. Secondly, I will actively participate in the groups such as the student unions to better practice my English and also my communication skills since I am a shy person. I believe groups share similar feature and traits, if I can do a good management position in the school groups like the student unions, I would also have the experience and confidence to manage a business. Thirdly, I will also make more friends to enlarge my social circle.

 

 

List of reference

Barlow, D. H. (2008), Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: a step-by-step treatment manual. New York: The Guilford Press. p.635

Bernstein, S. & Bernstein, R. (1999). Elements of statistics 2, New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. p.90

Elmer, D. (2002), Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press. p.44

Hubbard, E. (2004), The Managers Pocket Guide to Diversity Management. Amherst, MA: HRD Press. p.27

Riordan, J. (2005), Breastfeeding and human lactation. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p.670

Van Vianen, A. E. M. & Fischer, A. H. (2002), Gender and communication at work. Illuminating the glass ceiling, Journal of occupational and organizational psychology, 75: 315-27
 

 

Appendix 1.0 QUESTIONNAIRE FOR UEL STUDENTS

 

Thank you for participating our questionnaire, please take note only UEL students are invited to take this survey. Yourparticipation and information collection in this survey will be strictly used for research purpose.This survey is aiming at identifying the problems UEL students would expect to face in their future professional careers and what are their plans to overcome them.Your kindly participationis much appreciated.
Please answer the following questions and refer to the research persons if you need any assistance.