Volume 49 - Number 3 - 2008 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2008.03023



The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which career exploration process behaviors influence the level of career certainty of agriculture students. Data were gathered from 181 freshmen and 131 senior students enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Career certainty was assessed using items from the Career Decision Scale (Osipow, 1987) Career exploration was assessed using selected career exploration process behavior scales from the Career Exploration Survey (Stumpf, Colarelli, & Hartmann, 1983). Findings indicated that students were relatively certain in having made a decision about a career but only moderately engaged in various career exploratory process behaviors. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that two career exploration process behaviors explained 35% of the variance in the level of career certainty for freshmen, whereas one career exploration process behavior explained 40% of the variance in the level of career certainty for seniors. Thus, to increase students' level of career certainty, a major focus should be on the extent of career exploration involving self-assessment and retrospection (i.e., Self-Exploration) as well as occupational preferences (i.e., Focus). Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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