Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Education and Technology

First Advisor

William D. Wolansky


The purposes of this study were: (1) to examine the effectiveness of the Career Decision Scale as a measure of career indecision of foreign students, and (2) to explore the effects of demographic variables of gender, cultural background, academic level, area, and source of financial support on the career indecision of foreign students;The Career Decision Scale (CDS) and a short-form questionnaire were mailed to a total of 450 foreign students attending Iowa State University during Fall semester 1988. Completed useable questionnaires were received from 247 students representing 79 different countries from six cultural regions. This sample included both male and female students, majoring in 72 different academic areas, and studying at six different academic levels (Freshman through Doctorate);The results of the study indicated significant differences in educational and vocational certainty of: (1) foreign students who had declared an academic major and those who had not; (2) foreign students as a whole and American students in norm data; (3) foreign students with different cultural backgrounds; (4) foreign students across academic levels, and foreign students across academic levels and gender; and (5) foreign students who were recipients of a scholarship or university assistantship and those who were not;No significant difference in career certainty of foreign students was found across gender. However, comparison across cultural region and gender revealed a significant difference between male and female students from the region of East Asia. Comparison across academic areas revealed no significant difference, but comparison across academic areas and gender indicated significant differences in career certainty of both male and female students in different academic areas;The results suggested that: (a) foreign students as a whole are less certain about their academic and future career plans than American students; and (b) the educational and vocational certainty of foreign students varies with regard to their cultural background, academic major, academic level, and source of financial support.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Hossain Eftekhari-Sanjani



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

229 pages