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The study examined factors influencing career decisions using a sample of high school learners in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. A mixed-method approach was utilised. In the quantitative phase of the study, a sample of 536 high school learners in South Africa filled out the Career Interest Inventory (Fisher & Stafford, 1999) in understanding factors that influence career decisions. Phase two sought to understand qualitatively how the identified factors from phase one influence the enactment of career decisions using focus groups with 60 learners drawn from the sample in phase one. Results from phase one showed that learners' career decisions were highly influenced by academic experiences and self-efficacy, parents, teachers, and peers, respectively. Learners perceived ethnic-gender expectations and negative social events as having low levels of influence when making career decisions. Female learners are significantly more highly influenced by parents, teachers, academic experiences, and self-efficacy than their male counterparts. Findings also reveal not only the complexity but also the sense-making that occurs when making career decisions. Implications are made based on these findings.
Keywords: Career counselling, career decisions, career development, high school learners;
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