Relationships of vocational interest congruence, differentiation, and elevation to career preparedness among university students

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Vocational interest characteristics -interest congruence, interest differentiation, and general interest level (elevation) -are useful indicators for career development. However, research on these issues has primarily focused on adolescents in the transition from school to work and analyzed a limited set of career-related correlates. This study extends this line of research by exploring the relationships of interest congruence, interest differentiation, and interest elevation with several indicators of career preparedness (i. e., career planning, occupational self-efficacy beliefs, career decidedness, and career engagement) among a sample of emerging adults during their university studies in Germany. Data from 239 students representing a wide range of majors were collected via an online questionnaire. Controlling for sociodemographic variables, multiple regression analyses revealed that differentiation was positively associated with career decidedness and career engagement and elevation was positively related to occupational self-efficacy beliefs and career engagement. We discuss the findings regarding the importance of differences in vocational interest characteristics for the career preparedness of university students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalZeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2016

    Research areas

  • Career preparedness, Secondary constructs, Vocational interests
  • Economics