Investigation of Vocational Interest and Preference in Terms of Gender and Socio-economic Status

Kaan Zülfikar DENİZ* Ersin TÜRE** Aslı UYSAL* Tuba AKAR**
Assist. Prof. Dr., Ankara University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Ankara, Turkey.


Problem Statement: Individuals tend to prefer a vocation in order to reach their targets such as leading a life, nutrition, housing, being safe, having a good position in society etc. It is a task of the adolescence period to choose a vocation which is for some the most important step of the life, while for some others it is a rather important step in life however that can be changed and made flexible any time. All studies which are examined, show that vocational interest and vocational preference are affected by a great deal of variables.

Purpose of Study: In this study, the relations were investigated between the gender, socio-economic status (SES) variables and the vocational interest and the vocational preference.

Methods: Within this study, the long (OFII) and short form (OFII-SF) of the Occupational Field Interest Inventory were used. In total 812 students, who were studying at the preparatory classes of Ankara University (N=495) and Yıldırım Beyazıt University (N=317) during the 2011/12 spring semester, took part in this study. Before the analyses were made, the raw scores obtained via OFII and OFII-SF were converted into z score. For the analysis of the data chi-square, independent samples t test and one way ANOVA statistic techniques were used.

Findings and Results: At the end of the study, it was seen that there is significant difference with regard to the gender of the individuals in terms of the fields which they study and their interests. According to the findings that were obtained as per SES, it was found out that the departments of current higher-education and vocational interest (except for mathematics) of the individuals do not differ significantly.

Conclusions and Recommendations: It was found significant that the point differences with regard to OFII sub-dimensions are in favor of women for Psychology, Health, Law, Foreign Languages and Visual Art; in favor of men for Computer, Political and Financial Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture-outdoor and Physical Science. It can be asserted that these findings are in conformity with the gender-vocational interest studies. Many studies show that the interest/preference of the women for social vocations, which require working with people, is higher, while interest of men for the vocations which require working with objects and abstract concepts is higher. It was recommended, while measuring vocational interests that the gender variable is to be considered and new studies on SES variable carried out.

Keywords: Vocational Interest, Gender, SES, Occupational Field Interest Inventory (OFII).