Beale, Ruby L.; Brown III, Ulysses J.; Samms Brown, Chevanese L.
March 2014
Academy of Educational Leadership Journal;2014, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
This paper examined antecedents to determine what may impact college students' perceived employment opportunities constraints as it relate to obtaining a PhD. There is a growing literature that indicates the increasing importance of graduate education, including doctoral degrees for academic and non-academic jobs. An advance level of thinking which is often promoted in doctoral programs is purported to be increasingly needed to sustain and promote the competitive progress and advancement of the United States. With this being said, it is important that college students consider obtaining a doctoral degree as a viable option when considering their career options. This study examined the extent to which college students may or may not be interested in earning a PhD. The results indicated that though students were satisfied with their advisor that advisor satisfaction did not influence their Perceptions of Employment Opportunity Constraints (PEOCs) of pursuing a PhD. In fact, students perceive that holding a PhD would make it more difficult for them to obtain a corporate job because they believe that others would think that they would likely be too nerdy. Maintaining these misperceptions would decrease the likelihood of many students pursuing the doctorate degree and thereby actually constrain the increased career options they would have if in fact, they went on to pursue and earn a PhD. We conclude this paper with a discussion of the implications, limitations, and future research suggestions.


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