Toward understanding of educational aspirations and expectations

  • Madara Patmalniece Madara Patmalniece

Although a considerable amount of literature has examined educational and career aspirations of young adults, the existing literature tends to provide somehow different conclusions; therefore, a comprehensive and critical literature review, overlooking different factor influence one’s academic and career aspirations, is still missing. The purpose of this study is to contribute to an understand of how factors like gender, ethnicity, peers, parents, teachers and self-efficacy beliefs influence young adult academic and career aspirations and decision making. This thesis will also explain why sometimes high aspirations for girls and Black students do not lead to higher educational outcomes; the existence of an aspiration-expectation gap will be supported by the latest empirical data. Further, this thesis will discuss the existing policy measures aimed to promote and raise children educational attainment. Hence, the research questions of this thesis are:

  1. What are the determinants of educational and career aspirations?
  2. Why high educational aspirations do not always lead to better outcomes?
  3. What are the existing policies and projects in order to raise one’s educational and career expectations?

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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