Student Career Choice Orientation and How this Relates to Autonomous and Controlled Motivation

Marianne Kallaste, Martin Toding, Juhan Teder


The investigation of student motives for choosing entrepreneurship or employment as a
career is important for understanding their decisions and how to bring the issues of
motivation into focus in entrepreneurship education. Student entrepreneurial motivation
has been widely emphasized in entrepreneurship research but student career choice
orientation in relation to autonomous and controlled motivation has been studied less. The
aim of the current research is to assess the relationship between student career choice
orientation and the type of motivation, and impact of intervention via entrepreneurship
education. The empirical data was collected in the 2014/2015 academic year using a pre-test/
post-test design. The students with promotion career goal orientation mostly displayed
autonomous motivation, and the students with prevention career goal orientation had more
controlled motivation. After the intervention the autonomous motivation became less
important and controlled motivation became more important, which refers to the need to
analyse the content and teaching approaches in the entrepreneurship course. The contribution
of the paper relies on explaining the role of autonomous and controlled motivation in career
choice decisions in connection with entrepreneurship education.

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