MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS INFLUENCING CAREER CHOICE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
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This study aims to investigate the factors that motivate dental students to choose dentistry as a career. A questionnaire-based survey involving 752 dental students from the only two Moroccan dental schools was conducted between April and May 2011. The questionnaire was designed in terms of financial factors, human factors and working conditions factors. The students were asked to rank the career choices’ set of questions on a five point Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).
The internal reliability of the scale was investigated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and validity was investigated by a confirmatory principal component analysis. Results indicate that dentistry has a noble function; the “desire to help people” and “job opportunities” determines career choice among Moroccan dental students. Another result that emerged from the study is that men were motivated by working conditions factors (p=0.025) while women were motivated by human factors (p=0.001). In brief, the results of the present study can be used by health policy makers to persuade students to pursue dentistry as a career.
Moroccan schools of Dentistry offer a five-year program of professional study leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine. Dental studies prepare students for careers in the modern world of dentistry by combining clinical training with basic and advanced dental sciences. Once students have mastered basic competencies in the academic skills facilities, they move on to treating patients in the University Dental Hospital. Dental school admission processes are typically testified by assessing applicants’ Baccalaureate scholastic records, in addition to an admission test designed to evaluate their knowledge in mathematics, physics and natural sciences. Fulfillment of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance as the number of qualified applicants (N=1000) exceeds the number of available positions (N=150). Recently, several characteristics of dental students have been researched in relation to motivational factors. For instance, the Zadik et al.
study of dental students revealed great emphasis placed upon the importance of financial motivations such as income and financial security, with ‘person orientated’ factors such as ‘helping people’ being low in priority . Although there is general agreement on the range of motivating factors that may impact the choice of dentistry as a career, motivational factors may vary over time and between countries [2-7]. Furthermore, there is a growing recognition that the emerging workforce has very different expectations to those of earlier generations. Evidence indicates that these expectations have implications for health profession and the performance of health systems