pp 1–12 | Cite as

An Exploration of Career Decision-Making among Domestic and International Instructional Design Students

  • Erin Mills
  • Jill StefaniakEmail author
  • Tian Luo
  • Chris Glass
Original Paper


The factors that influence and impact graduate students in the context of their career decision-making within an instructional design graduate program remain unexplored. This mixed methods study captured actual career-related difficulties of graduate instructional design students through a conceptual framework based on Bandura (1986) and Lent et al. (Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45(1), 79–122, 1994) social cognitive career theory, emphasizing the importance of interactions with key factors such as career readiness, access to career information and consistent and reliable career information. Participants recorded their levels of career decision-making difficulty through an online survey, the Career Decision Making Questionnaire (CDDQ) (Gati et al. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(4), 510–526, 1996). The CDDQ was used to measure: 1) lack of readiness, 2) lack of information and 3) inconsistent information. This study indicates that the current level of support for graduate students in instructional design may not be robust enough to support their needs. The results demonstrate that graduate students have specific career needs and experience career decision-making difficulty regardless of country of origin, primarily in the pre-decision making phase and in working through internal and external sources of conflict.


Instructional design Career decisions International students 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors report that they do not have any conflicts of interest associated with this manuscript. The authors obtained IRB approval prior to the commencement of data collection.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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