Career Barriers Affecting First-Generation College Students: Can Socializing Messages Increase Career Confidence?

Levine & Aley / Southern Communication Journal / September 2021

Two studies were conducted on the career barriers emerging adults perceive hinder their future career success. Study One asked what barriers are believed to be obstacles to career opportunities. Results revealed eight distinct categories. Study Two integrated these findings with demographic variables, (i.e., first-generation college students (FGCS) and gender). Vocational anticipatory socialization (VAS) sources and key indicators were examined as potentially overcoming perceived career barriers. Study Two’s findings showed that female students and FGCS reported more career barriers overall. The examination of VAS showed FGCS lack strong VAS network connections suggesting the need for further research to understand how VAS sources can decrease perceived career barriers.