Edited By Mirja-Tytti Talib, Jyrki Loima, Heini Paavola and Sanna Patrikainen
Leaning for work: Student career aspirations in China and Norway Lihong Huang 189
189 Leaning for work: student career aspirations in China and Norway Lihong Huang Introduction As the education systems throughout the world have become similar in terms of structure and schooling content, the educational institutions in different coun- tries around the globe serve the same public and private purpose of preparing young people for working in their adult lives. China and Norway are two com- pletely different countries in all social, cultural, economic, historical and politi- cal aspects but the young people in both countries all have to make a career de- cision when they are around 16 at the end of compulsory education, and many of they will have to make career decision again when they are about 19 at the end of secondary education. This article investigates how young people in these very different societies consider their future, how they choose their career paths, and whether the socio-economic contexts in which they live have an impact on their career choices. It compares two groups of students from China and Norway who were 18–20 in 2002, using survey data collected respectively from these two countries in the same year. In the following sections, the article first introduces some features of the socio-economic and cultural contexts of the education sys- tem in theses two countries concerning student career development. Second, it reviews theories and previous research on young people’s career aspiration fol- lowed by description of data and methods. Results and discussion of findings are provided at the end. The...
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