Career-Socialization of Women College Students

By Kormos, Zsuzsa | Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military, Fall-Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Career-Socialization of Women College Students


Kormos, Zsuzsa, Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military


In 1998, a survey was carried out which involved all the women students (years one to four) in the two Hungarian military colleges. The aim of the research was to survey, within a motivational research context, all those family and other motivations and expectations that determined the choice of career of the young ladies who applied to the college. Other important points were to see to what extent women college students accepted the military teaching system--which is the first important step in career socialization--and their concomitant career orientation.

In this paper, presenting responses to the most important questions, I show the motives behind applying to the college, the women students' expectations, and the positive and negative alternatives of the opinions.

Between 1994 and 1998, 91 woman studied at Janos Bolyai Technical College, while 26 woman did their studies at the Aviation Officer's College in Szolnok. At Bolyai, 87 out of 91 women students filled in the questionnaire; the figure was 16 out of 26 at Szolnok: a total of 103 respondents. Because the number of the women at Szolnok was very low, we saw no point in analyzing the two data sets independently from each other, especially since we could observe similar tendencies and ratios in the main questions.

Our assumption was that for those women who apply to the military colleges, the family would be a strong source of motivation. This hypothesis had to be abandoned, as only in one-fifth of the cases could we talk about this phenomenon. In those cases, however, the family role model--mainly the father and the uncle's strong role--did affect career choice. Table 2 presents the reasons students decided to apply to a military college. The primary factor that deeply influenced their choice was wanting to stay together with their circle of friends.

Table 2. Why did you choose the military college as part of your education?

                              1      2      3     4     DK     NA

1. The prestige of the
given military college      20.4   26.2   34.0   11.7   2.9    4.9
2. Friends also applied
here                        75.7   14.6    4.9    -     1.0    3.9
3. Stay near home           58.3   17.5   15.5    3.9   1.0    3.9
4. Stay away from home      56.3   22.3   13.6    1.9   1.9    3.9
5. I had the biggest chance
here because of my
secondary marks             43.7   21.4   23.3    8.7   -      2.9

1: Most important
2, Important
3. Not so importants
4. Not important at all
5. DK: Don't
6. NA: No a

We raised this issue as an open-ended question as well and ranked the answers by their frequency. The results revealed that among the motivations leading to the application to the military college are the following:

1. Challenge

2. Career, dedication to the military service

3. Secure employment in the army

4. The family resources made application possible only here

5. Attraction towards a technical, boyish, uniform-wearing profession

6. Possibility to get a degree

We asked their opinion along two dimensions. The answers range between "bad" and "very good." This is natural since the answers include the positive answers of the successful students' (study results, popularity, and other recognition) and the negative answers of the less successful ones. The degree of satisfaction is an indication as to what extent the individual demands, requirements and value orientation are satisfied by the college facilities provided to the women students.

The factors which influence success in college education are as follows:

1. Inborn abilities;

2. How hard one works/studies;

3. How much ambition one has;

4. The secondary school at which one did one's studies.

The first task for a beginner is gaining acceptance in a new environment: orientation in the new environment and the pressure to build a new system of personal contacts. …

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