Jelena Stanišić, Mladen Radulović, Dragana Gundogan
Institute for Educational Research, Belgrade, Serbia

2nd International Scientific Conference – EMAN 2018 – Economics and Management: How to Cope With Disrupted Times, Ljubljana – Slovenia, March 22, 2018, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS published by: Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade, Serbia; Faculty of Management Koper, Slovenia; Doba Business School – Maribor, Slovenia; Integrated Business Faculty –  Skopje, Macedonia; Faculty of Management – Zajecar, Serbia, ISBN 978-86-80194-11-0


The beginning of the 21st century in Serbia was characterized by numerous social changes which overwhelmed economic and educational sphere. Transformation from socialist to capitalist mode of production brought with it uncertain economic situation, high unemployment rate, as well growing mismatch between educational system and labor market. Simultaneously with economic changes in Serbia, educational system reforms were implemented which concerned changes in curricula, introduction of new subjects in elementary and secondary education, as well as implementation of Bologne process in higher education. Taking into account this social context, we wanted to find out which factors young people in Serbia perceive as important for fulfillment of their career aspirations. Furthermore, we investigated to what extent perceived factors are connected with class position young people strive for. For the purpose of this paper, the data obtained in the research “Education and transition towards adulthood in young people’s visions about future in Serbia and Slovenia” are used. In this research, 1946 final year students from 99 secondary schools in Serbia participated. More precisely, the used data are obtained by using Likert scale which tests the effect of every single factor (personal abilities, knowledge obtained during formal education; knowledge and experience obtained out of formal education; hard work and devotion; parents’ expectations;  expectations of peers and friends; parents’ financial situation; parents’ connections and acquaintances; economic circumstances in the country; employment prospects; luck) for fulfillment of young people’s career goals. Research data show that young people in Serbia perceive personal abilities alongside with hard work and devotion as the most important factors which might influence their career. Additionally, the knowledge which students obtained during and out of formal education is proved to be very significant. However, it is important to note that 74% of respondents consider that knowledge obtained informally will have valuable asset on their career. Meanwhile, the smaller number of respondents thinks that the knowledge obtained in formal education (66%) will have significant impact. Concerning economic factors, around half of young people (51%) believe that parents’ financial situation will affect fulfillment of their career goals, while slightly more than one third of respondents (37%) perceive economic circumstances in the country as important. Research affirmed that statistically significant differences exist between students which strive towards different class positions: young people who see themselves in professional occupations consider more factors related to personal abilities, hard work and devotion, as well as knowledge obtained in formal education, while students who expect to occupy positions of qualified workers appreciate more factors related to parents’ connections and acquaintances, parents’, peers’ and friends’ expectations as well as luck. Persons who strive to professional occupations believe more in their abilities which is in line with existing individualist values which are promoted in the contemporary labor market.

Key words

young people, Serbia, career, education.


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