Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Reed Morrill


Reed Morrill


This study was designed to examine and evaluate vocational decision making and counseling at Utah State University and to provide a basis for further research. A written questionnaire was given to a random sample of 500 college students on the Utah State University campus.

It was found that over 15% of freshmen could not express a vocational choice, and of those who could,their commitment to it was weaker than the other classes. Immediate family, friends and college professors were the most influential people in making a career choice, with the influence of college counselors being almost negligible. Other than influential people, personal interests, previous work experience and a desire to contribute to society were the strongest influences in making a career decision. Two thirds of the students surveyed were not able to list the counseling service as a source of help in career decision-making, and when the counseling service was used, its helpfulness was rated low compared to most other sources of help. There does not seem to be as much shifting of majors and career choices as one might expect; three quarters of the students surveyed had changed their major only once, or not at all. Over two thirds of the students did not have definite plans to seek career counseling, (most of them) because they felt they didn't need it or felt it wouldn't be helpful.

The following recommendations were made:

  1. In the extension of career counseling services, an emphasis should be placed in reaching freshmen.
  2. In labelling the services offered, the term "career counseling" should be used instead of "vocational counseling", to avoid the mistaken connotations often attached to the word "vocational".
  3. The current methods of informing the students of the career counseling services available to them should be reevaluated and changed to more effectively publicize these services.
  4. The present career counseling services need to be further developed using information from the literature and survey that has been reported.