Family background effect on Career choices

Family background effect on Career choices
Family background effect on Career choices

A qualitative research analysis of how family background influences their career choices for the international students at the University

2.0  Rationale of the Project

The issue of accountants’ shortage has been reported in many areas across the globe with countries such as New Zealand, UK., Ireland, Australia, Japan and the USA was reported the greatest impact (Jony Hsiao, 2015).There has also been an occurrence of high profile scandals in businesses such as Worldcom, Parmalat, and the Enron that are outstanding in global economy where there is a predominance of service as well as knowledge.

Such occurrences have triggered a rise in the demand for recruiting highly skilled and experienced accountants who can offer extensive services in auditing. With the introduction of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, there emerged the Big 4 public accounting corporations along with the public listed organizations that have been craving for the services of qualified auditors, which offers accounting students an opportunity to maximize their advantages in accounting education through obtaining chances for employment as well as evaluate their capabilities in the accounting profession (Yew Ming Chia, 2008).

In recent years, the majority of the students take their courses in accounting in foreign countries where they need funding of greater magnitude but they still have expressed strong desire to study. The family background could be poor therefore posing a challenge to the students who aspire to complete their courses. While western vocational psychology has conventionally focused on the individual’s values and interests in making career choices, it is suggested that social factors such as family background is of vital role to be considered in one’s career development (Fouad et al., 2010).

The shortage of talent accountants therefore is an important forecast that point at the necessity for establishment of programs for training and retention of accountants, especially international students who can acquire the requisite qualities for successfully uplifting satisfaction in the dynamic professional accounting area, thus deduce the job turnover rate and alleviate the declining enrollment trend of accounting systems.

3.0 Preliminary Review of the Literature

The review of literature shall be executed in view of identification of the family background influences on international accounting students’ career choice for their preferred career path. Based on past research in the same filed, some factors that have been identified to have significant contribution include intrinsic as well as extrinsic interests and the perception of intrinsic has been taken more focus.

It shall also be prudent to revisit the previous literature because there is evidence to suggest an inadequacy examination of the impact of family influences and anticipated work-family conflicts in predicting the intentions of the student to choose accounting as a future career. Available information indicates that, earlier investigations focused mainly on evaluation of the perception of the student towards accounting as well as the roles of accountants in attempts of addressing the declining trend of students’ enrolment in accounting programs.

Earl & Bright (2007) conducted an investigation to analyze the relationship that exists between the work outcomes and career decisions. The findings indicated that, the decision of the career graduate was moderated by the extent to which the expectations of the job role were addressed. This decision was also related to the level of job satisfaction. In this regard therefore, the students who made independent decision to take a program in accounting made effective contributions to the organizations where they worked.

When intrinsic value was observed as major influential driver of accounting students, job availability and flexibility in career options ranked relatively high among various career predictions. The extrinsic factors are also mainly based on the size of financial rewards and working environment that associate with job satisfaction (S. Sugahara and G. Boland, 2009).

Research findings also indicate that, the beliefs of the accounting graduates changed soon after they were hired and that the dissonance in the job contributed significantly to job dissatisfaction, thus increasing the tendency for job turnover. This was therefore deemed as a potential explanation to the high rates of job turnover of the newly hired accounting employees in the majority of the accounting firms (Liu, B., Liu, J. and Hu, J., 2010)

Intrinsic interest can generally be explained as individual’s pursuit in enjoyment, creativity and challenge derived from job (S. Sugahara and G. Boland, 2009). An investigation targeted towards Japanese accounting students indicated that the nature of job and the chance to make contributions that compose intrinsic value was a major factor of accounting graduates’ career prospects.

The influence of persons, such as parents, classmates, close friends and business people in workplace, however, was revealed to have a weak impact for accounting students. Similarly, Zauwiyah Ahmad Hishamuddin Ismail R. N. Anantharaman, 2015 has discovered that  internal satisfaction that contained challenging, interesting and exciting was positively linked to accounting students’ career decisions, but social factors were neglected in this investigation.

There are however some researches claiming that family influences within collectivistic cultures are of increasingly significant role in career development especially for those non-White people. Fouad, 2010 discovered that family expectation and information support were the most potential attributes among ethnic groups.

Compared with African American and Whites, Asian American posed to be heavily attached to hard work and achievements on both education and career development. They indicated their path way determined by parents from very early age while their self-attributes failed to be considered, thus leading them to place higher value on prestige and initial salary when making career choices.

It was also found that information support of family was of extensive effect on Korea’s accounting students’ career beliefs and decisions. Family financial support as well as emotional support linked directly to the anticipation of future jobs (S. Kim., T. Ahn and N. Fouad, 2015).

Weer et al. (2006) has also investigated the contribution of anticipated conflict between family and work life in the choice of an accounting career. The majority of the students are keen to analyze the potential conflict or the possibility interference between the family roles and their future job as a career program in accounting. There is evidence that, work-family conflict can exist in the accounting profession.

This relationship has further been extended to have implication on the job turnover as evident in the majority of accounting firms (Aizzat & Khor, 2008). Research highlighted that appropriate work time, active work involvement positively contribute to a responsible family role. Family-related factors such as the number of independent children as well as the family involvement also weigh among work-family conflicts (Aminah , 2008).

Further literature in the career development points out that, most students are likely to change their career in the future as a result of the conflicts (Pasewark and Viator, 2006). Cinamon, (2010) indicated that, such students tend to choose a career that has lower anticipated risks. It is, therefore certain that the students with high anticipated conflict in accounting as their future career shall have lower intentions to pursue a program in accountancy.

, classmates, close friends and business people in workplace,

4.0 Research objectives and questions

4.1 research objectives

  1. To determine whether or not family background influence the career choices
  2. To establish whether or not classmates and friends influence career choices of international students.
  3. To determine whether career choices by people influence career choices of international respective?

4.2 Research Questions

  1. Does family background influence career choices of international students?
  2. Do classmates and friends influence career choices of international students?
  3. Do career choices by people influence career choices of international respective?

4.3 Hypothesis

1: H0 There is not any single association between family background and career choices

2: H1 There is a direct association i.e. single association between family background and career choices

3: H0 There is not direct relationship between family member persuasion and professional option

4: HThere is a direct relationship between family member persuasion and profession        option

5= H0 Career choices by people do not influence career choices of international students

6= H1 Career choices by people influence career options of international students  

5.0 Research Plan

5.1 Research Design

Positivism research design complies with the standpoint that factual knowledge can be collected through measurement (Muijs, 2011). In a positivist project, the researcher is in charge of data collection as well as interpretation in an objective manner and the collected data is quantified. Owing to the fact that this is quantitative project will adopt positivist paradigm to increase understanding of how family background influences career choice of international students in the University. In this case, the paradigm will allow the researcher to draw knowledge from positive data because it is easier to present numerical evidence of each rationally justified allegation (Collis & Hussey, 2013).

In addition, the reality of incidents is not connected to what is being explored; therefore, positivism design allows researchers to build knowledge of a reality beyond individual intelligence (Muijs, 2011). Based on this fact, a quantitative researcher creates hypothesis from existing theory and use suitable statistical tests, to determine if the finding is in line with theory or theoretical framework. Ultimately, the hypothesis is either accepted or rejected.

5.2 Data collection

This study will use questionnaires to collect primary information. In a quantitative research project, the aim of the researcher is to assess mathematical or statistical analysis of the collected information (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill 2012). In addition, the researcher purposes to make general views of the entire population. This means that quantitative research places emphasis on gathering mathematical data and generalize it to the whole population to explain an occurrence (Bryman, 2016). 

For that reason, questionnaires will present detailed information on how family background influences career choice of international students in the University. Primary information is also suitable for this study when it comes to recognizing different family backgrounds of an international student. Again, primary information will offer useful insights important in understanding the link within data.   

The questionnaire is an appropriate data collection technique in this study because I will allow the research to collect detailed information from international students on how family background affects their career choices in short period (Leedy & Ormrod, 2014). Much as the questionnaire is cost-effective, it will suitable for this project since it will enable the researcher to gather international students’ views with limited impact on reliability and viability. 

Moreover, the questionnaire is fit for this study since it results can be quantified easily and quick with the help of software like SPSS.  Compared to other data collection methods, questionnaires can be analyzed objectively and such information is vital in developing not just theories but also testing hypotheses.

5.3 Data Analysis

While there are several programs applicable in data analysis, the SPSS application will be used in this study. SPSS is the most suitable application for the study because it’s comprehensive, flexible and generates tabulated graphics, distribution trends as well as complex data analysis. Again, the SPSS software is user-friendly and intuitive for all users. There is quite a number of tests that may be employed to evaluate data, however, the selection of test is informed by the data collected and what we intend to achieve in the first place (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2012).                                                                                      

The t-test, for instance, is employed to determine whether the means of two clusters are different from each other statistically. So this type is pertinent for means in two clusters. When determining the relationship between two variables, the Pearson’s correlation is the best approach. The analysis of variance, on the other hand, is important when comparing the association between a number of groups.

5.4 Limitations

According to Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2012), the research method works as the backbone of the study. Its central purpose, however, is the enumeration of statistics. It enables the broad view of the outcomes by determining the conceptions and feedbacks of the sample populace. However, the improper representation of the target populace is a major drawback for this approach.

This prevents the researcher from realizing its expected purposes and objectives. Regardless of a suitable sampling schedule, the representation of subjects relies on the possibility of observed statistics. This often culminates into the misrepresentation of the proposition. Nonetheless, a large sample size is often needed in for quantitative research methodology, and yet, owing to minimal resources, the broad-based research becomes a mirage (Collis & Hussey, 2013).                                                                 

The researcher is also unable to control the environment because feedbacks to the question are provided by respondents. In addition, because of the closed nature of questions in a quantitative study, it restricts the outcomes of a research, as such; the outcomes may not necessarily represent the reality of the ground. To ensure a far-reaching randomization and correct description of control groups, considerable time is needed. Furthermore, the process is capital intensive. In the end, data analysis may be so complex to realize especially when the researcher does not have a background in statistics.

6.0 Ethical Considerations

The consideration of ethical issues in a quantitative research, where human beings are involved is essential. Previously, various studies have caused a mental and physical impact on respondents an issue that necessitates the moral consideration. For instance, the researcher is required not just to obtain informed consent from respondents but also inform respondents about the dangers and advantages that come with the study (Creswell, 2014).

Moreover, confidentiality of respondents should be guaranteed with regards to disclosing values, beliefs, and characters. The confidentiality implies that the researcher will not be required to collect and record data in stealth mode. Again, the researcher should not falsify information; in any case, the researcher should ensure that the collected information is as accurate as possible. In this respect, the use of fictitious respondents is not only unethical but defeats the very purpose of research.


Aizzat, M.N. and Khor, L.H. (2008), “The influence of support at work and home on work-family conflict: does gender make a difference?” Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 18-30.

Bryman A. 2016. Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cinamon, R.G. (2010), “Anticipated work-family conflict: effects of role salience and self-efficacy”, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 83-94.

Collis, J. & Hussey, R. (2013) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. 4th ed. London: Palgrave-MacMillan.

Creswell, J. W. 2014. Research Design Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th ed., p. 304). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Earl, J.K. and Bright, J.E.H. (2007), “The relationship between career decision status and important work outcomes”, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Vol. 71 No. 2, pp. 233-46.

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. 2014. Practical research: Planning and design (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Liu, B., Liu, J. and Hu, J. (2010), “Person-organization fit, job satisfaction, and turnover   intention: an empirical study in the Chinese public sector”, Social Behaviour and Personality, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 615-26.

Muijs D. 2011. Doing quantitative research in education with SPSS. Los Angeles, [Calif.]: SAGE.

Pasewark, W.R. & Viator, R.E., (2006), “Sources of work-family conflict in the accounting profession”,Behavioral Research in Accounting, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 147-165.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students, 6th ed. Pearson Learning Solutions

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