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Success in the first phase of the vocational career: The role of cognitive and scholastic abilities, personality factors, and vocational interests
Volodina, A., Nagy, G., Köller, O.

Success in the first phase of the vocational career: The role of cognitive and scholastic abilities, personality factors, and vocational interests

Journal of Vocational Behavior, 91, 11-22. Doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2015.08.009

The present study examines the relationship of cognitive and scholastic abilities, vocational interests, and personality traits with vocational success in the first phase of the vocational career. Drawing on large samples of technicians and industrial clerks, the effects of the covariates on satisfaction and dropout intention in the first months of vocational education and training (VET) were examined. Results show that the sets of predictor variables, especially personality traits and vocational interests, had a large proportion of variance in common, but exhibited different patterns of effects. Whereas in the case of personality traits the predictor-outcome relationships were largely invariant across different fields of VET, vocational interests exhibited a non-invariant pattern of effects that was in line with the congruence hypothesis (Holland, 1997). Vocational interests in the dominant domain characterizing the field of VET were the strongest predictors, whereas interests in the non-dominant VET domains were less important for predicting success. Abilities did not turn out to be important predictors of the markers of success under study. The results underscore the crucial role of personality traits and vocational interests in securing success in the first phase of vocational career.