Graduate employability as a function of career decision in the Amhara State TVET System
The purpose of this research was examining the state of TVET students’ choice of occupation as potential factors of their employability. To that end, quantitative data was collected from 361 teachers and 361 students in six TVET colleges through stratified and simple random sampling techniques. Eight teachers and nine students selected through purposive sampling method were also involved in independently conducted focus group interview. Instead of employability and match of an occupation to talents and economic implications, level of occupational prestige, desire for higher qualification levels as well as resemblance to role models usually dictated the occupational choices of most TVET students. Besides, most students had negative perceptions for TVET. In contrast to the high attention paid by the government for self-employment, in addition, most students preferred paid employment to self-employment. At the same time, the TVET system is plagued by unemployment. Consequently, considering TVET as one of the solutions to the development challenges in the study area is certain to suffer from lack of employability if problems related to occupational choice are not adequately dealt with. This calls for vigorous vocational counseling practices by deploying competent and experienced counselors that ascertain the market orientation of students’ career decisions.
Keywords: career decision, employability, occupational choice, self-employment,