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Factors Affecting Occupational Choice: Psychological, Social, Economic, and Cultural

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  • 0:06 Occupational Choice
  • 0:39 Psychological Factors
  • 1:24 Social Factors
  • 2:17 Economic Factors
  • 2:53 Cultural Factors
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Occupational choice is affected by four factors: psychological, social, economic and cultural. An individual's job choice is molded by their family, morals, values, intelligence, abilities, finances and many other things.

Occupational Choice

One night, Police Chief Sam was putting his son to bed. After their nightly book ritual, his son Santino asked how and why he became a police officer. Sam took a sip of water and sat down on his son's bed. 'Psychological, social, economic, and cultural factors are the main reasons as to why I chose law enforcement as a career.' Most people have certain factors that determine why they choose a specific occupational choice, or job or profession. Sam was no different.

Psychological Factors

The first factors that can impact an individual's occupational choice are psychological factors. These factors consist of interest, aptitude, or intelligence. Sam always had an interest in law enforcement and protecting people. He was very smart, had excellent analytical skills, and could read people easily. This helped him to excel as a detective. He was able to quickly analyze a crime scene or find out if a suspect was lying.

This talent caused to Sam to lead in arrests for homicides and drug cases. Certain occupations need individuals to have specific skill sets. For example, an accountant would need to be detail-oriented and like to analyze numbers. An engineer needs to excel in math and science.

Social Factors

Social factors also affected Sam's job choice. Social factors can have a huge impact on the occupation an individual chooses to attain. Personality, attitudes, and lifestyle all fall within the definition of social factors. Sam's personality was intense and outgoing. Suspects wanted to confide in him. He had an incredible work ethic and regarded liars, cheaters, and unethical people with disdain. His lifestyle consisted of martial arts, boxing, and weightlifting. Sam's social factors supported his career choice, which can be physically demanding and stressful.

In addition, finding role models in an individual's formative years can help with choosing an occupation as well. Sam met a policeman early on due to a fight he was involved with in the neighborhood. He soon developed a friendship/mentor relationship with the policeman, which later led to his first job.

Economic Factors

Sam grew up very poor in an urban environment, which also affected his job choice. Economic factors can also influence an individual's job selection. People that come from an affluent background have easy access to higher education. This can cause individuals to choose a white-collar job instead of a blue-collar one. Salaries, benefits, and bonuses can also impact what career choice is selected by an individual.

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