Career Preparation: A Comparison of University Athletes and Non-Athletes
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Athletes, who are used to being rewarded for their athletic ability, must find a way to develop career maturity following the conclusion of their involvement in collegiate sports. Less than 2% of student athletes continue to play sports professionally, which leaves 98% of student athletes to create a different professional path (Cheney-Rice, 2014). Due to these statistics, it is important that student athletes are able to transfer skills learned as an athlete into those needed to obtain a career outside of sports in order to improve the prospects for student athletes to enjoy successful careers outside of sports. The three goals of this study were to determine: (a) if career exploration, personality type, and career decision-making self-efficacy, either individually or in combination, contribute to the prediction of career maturity levels among athletes and non-athletes; (b) if gender, race and/or academic classification of freshmen and seniors contribute to the prediction of career maturity; and, (c) if socioeconomic status (SES) has a mediating impact on career maturity. A path analysis model was used to identify significant relationships between variables. The sampled population was a total of 502 college students from the same Division I Central Texas University. The main findings of this study were: a) the statistical impact that career decision-making self-efficacy has on athletes’ career maturity, b) the statistical impact of different variables on the career maturity of Freshman as opposed to Seniors, c) how and when SES mediates career maturity, and d) personality being more of a predictor for female athletes and Black students compared to male athletes and White students for career maturity respectively.