In selecting, planning and pursuing occupational pathways, the individual must take account of a number of factors, particularly the potential for both “lateral and upward” movement (Veiga, 1981, p. 566). Baruch (2004) describes the career pathway as a major part of life and as such is a “life journey” giving individual’s the option to “take the beaten path” or to “navigate their own way in the open plain” (p. 59). A review of the literature informs of the various processes that an individual traverses through in building and following a specific occupational pathway and therefore highlights the various features of the pipelining system.
A. Selecting a Profession
London (1983) theorizes that career motivation which consists of “individual characteristics” reflected in three essential domains directs career or profession selection (p. 620). The three domains are “career identity, career insight, and career resilience” (London, 1983, p. 620). As London (1983) puts it:
The individual characteristic dimensions are needs, interests, and personality variables potentially relevant to a person’s career. These dimensions are clustered into three domains: career identity, career insight and career resilience (p. 620)....
An individual’s interests and values may be strong career motivation factors for pursing academic and ability enhancement programs as a means of successfully choosing and implementing an occupational pathway. B. Mentoring/Mentor According to Miller (2002) mentorship can function to motivate students and young people who are “underachieving” (p. 70). Students and young persons have a tendency to seek mentorship from among individuals who are employed in the market in which “they have a career interest” and as such business mentoring “can act as a powerful additional motivator” (Miller, 2002, p. 70). Rhodes et al (2003) conducted a study on 959 students participating in a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program. The participants were provided with a questionnaire designed to establish a baseline and the baseline was tested a year and a half later. The baseline forming the area of inquiry was whether or not the mentorship program served as an effective mediator for improving parental relationships, self-confidence and academic performance. Baseline questions initially established the state of these factors from the onset and whether or not the mentor program impacted these factors 18 months later. Research findings indicated mentoring had a direct impact on the improvement of both parental relations, academic performance, self-confidence in terms of academic ability and a decrease in “unexcused absences” (Rhodes et al, 2003, p. 1662). Mentoring is thus an important tool for motivating, focusing and directing young people, particularly students in terms of academic preparedness on the path to career selection and