Transition After the Technical Professional Degree in Southern Switzerland

Castelli, Luciana and Ragazzi, Serena and Crescentini, Alberto (2014) Transition After the Technical Professional Degree in Southern Switzerland. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112. pp. 225-234. ISSN 1877-0428

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In the area of Cantone Ticino (CH), lots of students obtain a degree in upper secondary technical-professional education (MPT) every year; for them, a number of different options exists. Research questions have been formulated as follows: - Which paths do young students from Ticino undertake after technical-professional degree? - Which are the most relevant influencing factors and motivations in students’ decision making process? The purpose of the study is identifying and understanding itineraries, motivations and influencing factors of young Italian- speaking Suisse students with an MPT degree in the process of choice. Preliminary interviews with clients and analysis of statistical data have been conducted. Subsequently, 83 face-to-face semi- structured interviews have been administered to students and adults. Students have been asked about their education, choices, advices and counselling; adults have been asked about their perspective on students’ decision making process. Data have been treated according to the principle of triangulation (Denzin, 1970). Interviews showed different motivations for those students who decide to continue studying in a tertiary education institution: while some are guided by specific projection on their own future, others make a choice under the pressure of automatism and inertia. A second issue involved in the decision making process, is whether to stay in the region of origin or to leave. Self-representation, representation of the experience and the weight of socio-cultural aspects, play a crucial role in the decision making process A relevant role is taken by informal networks and word of mouth, confirming the hypothesis that, beyond choice rationality, interpersonal relationships and informal ties define the direction of the choice.

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