The Work Values of First-Year College Students: Exploring Group Differences


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A sample of 3,570 first-year college students were surveyed regarding the factors they deemed most important to their long-term career choice. Students as a whole identified intrinsic interest, high salary, contributions to society, and prestige as their 4 most important work values. Additional analyses found men more likely to espouse extrinsic values, women more likely to espouse social values, and students from median parental-income groups more likely to espouse intrinsic values. In light of these results, counselors are encouraged to place a greater emphasis on the role of work values in the decision-making process.