How often do they change their minds and does workintegrated learning play a role? An examination of ‘major changers’ and career certainty in higher education


Drysdale, M. T. B., Frost, N., & McBeath, M. L. (2015). How often do they change their minds and does work-integrated learning play a role? An examination of 'major changers' and career certainty in higher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 16(2), 145-152.


Margaret L. McBeath at University of Waterloo Maureen T. B. Drysdale at University of Waterloo Natalie Frost at University of Waterloo



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University of Waterloo / Waterloo / Canada


This project examined the role of cooperative education (co-op) in changing majors and career certainty in Canadian university students. Career certainty scores were collected using an online questionnaire from students in both cooperative education and non-cooperative education. The frequency with which students changed their major and their reasons for doing so were also collected. Results revealed that while non-co-op students changed their major significantly more often than their non-co-op peers, they did not differ in terms of career certainty. The two primary reasons cited by non-co-op students for changing majors were interest and impact on career. It is recommended that future research expand on this study to determine if the practical experience gained from co-op provides students with the real world practice they need to connect their classroom learning to their chosen career. Implications for the findings are discussed.

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