Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Career patterns: A twenty-year panel study

an article by Torsten Biemann (University of Cologne, Germany), Hannes Zacher (The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia) and Daniel C. Feldman (Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, USA) published in Journal of Vocational Behavior Volume 81 Issue 2 (October 2012)


Using 20 years of employment and job mobility data from a representative German sample (N = 1259), we employ optimal matching analysis (OMA) to identify six career patterns which deviate from the traditional career path of long-term, full-time employment in one organization.

Then, in further analyses, we examine which socio-demographic predictors affect whether or not individuals follow that traditional career path.

Results indicate that age, gender, marital status, number of children, education, and career starts in the public sector significantly predicted whether or not individuals followed the traditional career path.

The article concludes with directions for future theoretical and methodological research on career patterns.


► We use panel data to derive career patterns of 1259 individuals.
► We identify six career patterns that deviate from the traditional career pathway.
► Age, gender, marriage, and children predict deviations from traditional careers.

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