Barriers and Perceptions of Natural Resource Careers by Minority Students

TitleBarriers and Perceptions of Natural Resource Careers by Minority Students
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHaynes, NA, Jacobson, S
JournalThe Journal of Environmental Education
Pagination166 - 182
Date Published2015/07/03/
ISBN Number0095-8964
Keywordsbarrier, Career Development, careers, minority, natural resource careers, Q methodology, underrepresented
AbstractUsing a framework based on social cognitive career theory, we conducted 38 interviews and four focus groups with college students to identify motivations and barriers faced by underrepresented groups to natural resource careers. Interviews revealed career satisfaction as the most important goal for both natural resource and a comparison of liberal arts students. School difficulty and outsider perceptions were barriers for both groups. Natural resource students faced family pressure to pursue other careers. Focus groups with natural resource students using Q methodology revealed participation in outdoor recreation, exposure to nature-related media, and witnessing environmental degradation as important influences. Barriers included perceptions of ethnic/racial discrimination, financial pressures, and lack of confidence. Results may help academia and agencies better address motivations and barriers to natural resource careers.