One of the essential needs in the management of employees is to understand what motivates them. The knowledge of motivation helps managers to know why the performance of employees is sometimes low or high in some people and not others. Also, with information about motivation, managers can increase production by presenting the employees with what they need. Researchers have carried out studies to understand employees, and one of them is the factors, which influenced them to choose the profession. Were the employees forced to take the career or they made independent decisions? That is the guiding question in most of the researches to understand the employees. The sustaining force in particular tasks depends on what motivated the employee into that profession.

What motivates young people to choose particular careers? The topic of career choice is not new and will continue because of the complexity involved in making a decision. Young people are new to the professions, and in most cases, they do not know why one should select one course to study and not the other one. Some focus on the income of the job at the end of the course while others do not mind being in any profession (Ahmed, Sharif, & Ahmad, 2017, 13). There are both motivating factors and forces which young people consider when they are making decisions about the future profession. Career choice is, therefore, a dependent decision where the environment plays a role. There are different theories of career motivation, which researchers formulate to understand the secret behind career choice. Some of the methods include self-concept and sex-type rating (Rule, Kahonde & Lorenzo, 2015, 493). However, most of such approaches focus on one element of motivation or force behind career choice. Most of them focus on internal drives, personal values, and talents. Do the external environment like parents, peers and the media affect the choice of profession? The area is yet to have sufficient evidence on how the external environment plays a role in career choice.

This study aims to add to the current research on factors and theories explaining career choice by focusing on the external and internal factors, which affects career choice. To study the issues, the researcher investigates the factors affecting young people to join printing as a preferred profession using Hong Kong printing industry. The study found that the elements, which influenced young people to join the printing profession in Hong Kong, ranged from internal to external and some regrets to have made a wrong decision on a career. The listed factors include parents, media, peer groups, income, exposure and freedom in the printing job. The study concludes that young people do not make independent decisions into printing and other professions, but the external environment plays a significant role. A descriptive survey was carried out using questionnaires, which the researcher administered on 248 randomly selected young people from five different printing companies.

Aims and Study Significance

  • To find out the factors affecting young people’s choice to join the printing as the preferred profession in Hong Kong
  • To come up with the weight of each element that influences young people’s decision to enter the printing profession in Hong Kong
  • To redirect managers’ attention in Hong Kong printing industry towards what manipulates human capital to choose to print as their career.

Management in the printing industry will benefit from the results of the research through the addition of knowledge on the motivating factor of their workers. The managers will use such information to adjust various issues such as workers remunerations, which will motivate the workforce.


  • To investigate the effect of parents on the printing profession choice of their children
  • To explore the result of remuneration in the printing industry on young people’ choice of the profession
  • To find out the impact of media messages on student’s choice of printing profession
  • To find out how whether young people are influenced by their peers to choose the printing profession

Literature Review

Literature review section analyzes the current information on the factors, which impacts young people to make professional decisions. The review will discuss both internal and external factors, which affects career choice about the current studies. On specific, the analysis will identify the factors which impact young people in Hong Kong to choose the printing profession. The factors help to understand that decision on careers is not straight forward, but there are forces within and outside environment that influence young people to choose to print as their plan.

Meddour, Abdo, Majid, Auf & Aman (2016, 16), contends that career choice is dependent on factors which go beyond the individual’s wishes. Most young people have desires to where they want to spend their life like in urban or rural and what they want to do in the future. Although their interests appear to be personal, the family and environment play a role in shaping them (Meddour et al., 2016, 19). The family has a more significant influence, which it also derives from the external environments.  There is a relationship between internal environments like individual interests and the external environment like the parents which makes profession decision a complex process of analyzing those factors. A career job is the final product of the process and has some elements, which attracts young people to settle on one and not the other like income and opportunity to develop (Saleem, Mian, Saleem, & Rao, 2014, 56). Also, the environmental impacts some force which makes a person to pick on one career and not the other like the societal job rank, media, and peer groups.

One of the personal factors that influence young people’s decision on career choice is self-efficacy. Self-efficacy affects one’s decisions, insights, and inspirations. According to Meddour et al. (2016, 10), those people whose self-efficacy is high for a specific career will do all their best to pursue it regardless of the other external factors. Such people will invest all their time, resources and energies to achieve the career objective (Eun, Sohn, & Lee, 2013, 101). On the other hand, those people with low self-efficacy tend to keep off from any factor, which may contribute towards specific goals that they feel are not capable of attaining(Meddour et al., 2016, 15). Such young people will not listen to parents or peers who encourage careers and will not invest their resources on such objectives. Conviction on self-efficacy balances all the variables, which affects career choice. Parents, peers and the media, for example, do not go before the board of institutions to select a career for young people. They try to show the young how able they are on a particular skill to build their self-efficacy. The higher the efficacy, the higher the chance a young person is likely to choose a specific profession.

According to Kazi, & Akhlaq (2017, 22), career choice is a dilemma that challenges many people. Several interconnected factors come into play when students are making decisions regarding their profession, making the process to be complicated. Kazi, & Akhlaq (2017, 31), outlines the factors which influence students’ choice on a career as academic achievements, talents, skills, parents, the media and peers. Most of the factors connect each other, and therefore people may land into careers, which they did not want but came because of the interplay and balance. Parents are the major influence on one’s career because they can mold an individual’s efficacy from when they are young (Kazi, & Akhlaq, 2017, 29). Most of the parents were unable to achieve some goals or desires when they were young and therefore, use their children to attain them (Ginevra, Nota & Ferrari, 2015, 5). Also, they may develop needs from the country needs such as insufficient physicians, engineers or other specialists. The influence of parents on the career choice of young people, as a result, represents other many factors from the environment.

Kazi, & Akhlaq (2017, 23), emphasizes the influence of parents on their children’s career by pointing out that a good relationship in a family can make a child to copy profession of either the mother or the father. Those children originating from peaceful and caring families in most cases assume parents characters to make them happy. The parents dictate what they expect, and the children do not question. Such families instruct young to take a career without discussion or questioning (Kazi, & Akhlaq, 2017, 28). Also, the young people in such situations may decide by themselves to follow parents’ profession as a way of appreciating their parenting. A country acts as a parent in determining the career of its young people. They can coerce or use other attractive ways to direct people towards certain professions. Similar to parents, they also have needs for skilled people to work in various fields. Kazi & Akhlaq (2017, 28) in their analysis concludes that the less developed countries influence the young towards their needs. They will allocate scholarship or lower the school fees for specific programs to attract many young people. Influences from the parents and the courtly itself, which represents the society, are hard to avoid (Kazi & Akhlaq, 2017, 22).

Atta, Akhter, Shujja & Shujaat, (2013, 5) bases their argument about carrier choice on the Cognitive Information Process theory (CIP) to point out that people balance several factors before settling on a profession. According to CIP, the decision on any career is dependent on the effectiveness of information processing which includes professional information and self-knowledge (Sarwar, & Azmat, 2013, 11). From the theory, the factors, which affect the choice of a specific career, are in the categories of the occupation itself and the individual. People will balance what they know about a particular job and their abilities to settle on any profession (Atta et al., 2013, 5). In their study, Atta et al. analyze how negative career thoughts (NCT) and self-efficacy impacts graduate’s choice of job. The negative thoughts are results of confusion or environmental conflicts, which a person has to face due to too much information (Ogbuanya et al., 2018, 359).NCT affects those people who do not get an adequate chance to make decision-related to the profession they will study in college. According to Atta et al. (2013, 9), Self-efficacy and choice on career effect are among the significant factors, which impact the decision on any job.

An in-depth study of negative career thoughts widens the scope on factors, which affects career choice. Atta et al. (2013, 11) note that NCT results from the poor state of the mind which is caused by family conflicts, depression, low self-esteem and distorted beliefs about a career among others. People do not notice the effects, and they assume that a person made a mistake in choosing a job without going deep into what necessitated. Media, instructors, family members, and peers are the sources of distorted beliefs about a career, which leads to biasness in profession choice. Atta et al. add emotional intelligence as another factor, which influences NCT. People who can understand the patterns of their emotions make independent, informed decisions whiles those who do not recognize them end up making uninformed decisions which are the NCT (Atta et al., 2013, 9).

Self-efficacy is the belief people have on how able they are to attend or complete a particular task. Atta et al. (2013, 11) observe that people with high self-efficacy feel that they are ready to overcome any challenge related to the assignment.  Through self-efficacy, a person may pick on a task, which they are not skilled at because of motivation. The external environment is important is shaping individuals self-efficacy. Parents, for example, can show their children how able they are to study a specific profession and the children will believe that. In that case, the perception of the selected career comes from the parents (Atta et al., 2013, 9). External environment can show people how good or bad a job is with the aim of affecting choice. The negative perceptions about profession are what Atta et al. refer to as NCT. This far, it is worth noting that self-efficacy affects negative thoughts while the environment affects both of them. Atta et al. (2013, 10), concludes that internal and external environment affects decisions on profession choice. The factors include the media, peer, parents, the income of particular jobs, emotional intelligence and personal values.




Need for a child with a specific course

Financial ability to pay for the course

Need for the child to be like them


The course is good/bad

You are not able

I am doing the same course so you can


Low/high pay

No holidays/holidays

Heavy/simple work

Emotional Intelligence

Skilled/ not skilled




Negative Career thoughts








Figure 1: The impact of External and Internal Environment to Self-Efficacy

Yüce, Şahin, Koçer, & Kana (2013, 105), in their research, found that there are extrinsic, intrinsic and altruistic factors, which affects career choice. The external elements are the advantages associated with a particular job by the media or other people like income and holidays while intrinsic are internal personal motivating factors like love for the job. Altruistic is the motives associated with the feeling of serving other people or the community. Yüce et al. bases their arguments on several theories of motivation. One of the approaches, which they consider is the self-concept theory, which points out that the realization of one’s ability, affects career choice. According to Yüce et al., (2013, 99), the extent to which people know about careers, their skills and talents affect career choice. Those people who fail to realize that their gifts on individual ability and not the other find themselves in the wrong career, which they recognize later.

Another theory, which Yüce et al. (2013, 99), considers, is the sex-type rating and prestige whose proponent argues that choice of career is dependent on its appropriateness to gender and its value on the society. The society has divided jobs in terms of gender whereby, there are some careers like engineering which it allocates to men and others to women like the ones related to beauty. Also, society values some professions like medicine than others like agriculture. Yüce et al., (2013, 100) in their research confirms that young people tend to settle on the careers that society links to their gender and values most. The community has feminized some professions restricting the choices available to young people. Another conclusion form Yüce et al., research is that the motivation to serve people in certain areas leads young people to specific careers. In summary, Yüce et al. find that the external and internal factors affect career choice. They include information about a particular job, the society, gender, need to serve people and the professional gap in society.


Methodology section outlines the process through which the researcher followed to come up with the presented results. The segment provides an explanation of the design all sampling information, methods used to collect as well as analyze data.

Research Design

The research adopted a quantitative methodology. The study employed a descriptive survey design. The descriptive survey provides an in-depth description of the issue on focus, which in this case is the choice of printing career (J. Park & M. Park, 2016, 7). Through the method, the researcher can give a profile of the research item. The survey allows researchers to generalize the results depending on the sampled group. The independent variable, in this case, is the printing profession while the dependent variables are parents, media, peer groups, nature of the printing job and individual motivation. Printing profession is independent because the participants have already selected it. The other factors vary between one participant to another depending on what motivated them to the industry. The main aim of the study was to find out the elements, which affects the choice of the printing profession and the magnitude of the effect on each aspect.

Sample/Sample Size/Sampling Technique

The study focuses on issues, which necessitates the choice of printing profession by young people. The target population, therefore, constitutes young people between the age of 18 and 30 years drawn from five different printing companies in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, working without restriction starts at 18 years. Hong Kong considers 30 years of being the maximum age for a young title in the workforce. The average age for the participants was 25 years. The participants selected form the different printing companies were 248 where 140 were male and 108 females. The sample constituted both genders to find out whether it is a factor in career choice. The technique used to come up with the sample was a random sampling. There are equal opportunities for any target in the population to be selected. Simple random sampling allows the researcher to have a good representation of the community (Levy, & Lemeshow, 2013, 102).

Data Collection

The researchers used the questionnaire as a tool for data collection. The researcher prepared the questions and gave them to the other four scholars in the process of determining validity. The scholars rated the validity of the too as 91 percent which gave the researcher the go-ahead to use them. The questions were in a simple English language to accommodate everyone. They run from simple to complex and starting from closed-ended to open-ended questions. A combination of closed and open tools of collecting data was essential in gathering considerable information within a short time (McCusker, & Gunaydin, 2015, 540).

Data Analysis

The study used a descriptive statistic technique to analyze data collected through close-ended questions. This method involves summarizing the data collected through frequencies and measures of central tendencies to find out which variable appears most or is an average of the rest (J. Park & M. Park, 2016, 7). It involves calculations such as mean, frequencies and identification of mode. Content analysis analyzes the data from open-ended questions through content analysis. Content analysis involved the classification of repeated statements in terms of how close they were to each other. The classification reduced to a manageable size and then assigned them codes that enabled objective analysis. Proper coding provides reliability of the open-ended data.


It was challenging to analyze the open-ended data from 248 participants. However, the data was necessary for this study to have a deeper insight and identification of variables, which the researcher had not identified. Also, most of the participants could not identify the variables accurately since this is a career choice is a complex process which goes on in mind. However, reviewed literature enabled the researcher to identify and classify the variables, which the participants were identifying.

Ethical Considerations

This research protected the participant through the confidentiality of the information they gave. The respondents were not supposed to write their details on the questionnaires to ensure privacy. Also, there was no coercion towards the population to fill the surveys.


The first question, which the participants answered is whether their parents, influenced them through coercion, motivation or inspiration to select the printing profession and if the answer is yes, to state how. Out of all participants, 192answered yes while 56 said that at no stances did the parents influence them to select the career.

Table 1: Responses on Question Regarding Parent Influence

Parents influence Male Female Total
Yes 80 116 192
No 26 30 56


More participants claimed to have been influenced by their parents. The number of females affected by their parents is more than that of the male. Girls tend to be closer to their parents and follow instructions entirely meaning that parents’ influence is high. On asking in which way the parents influenced the participants, most of them gave divergent views with the most frequent being an inspiration by their parents who perused the same career and motivation and encouragement that they are capable of the job. However, some said that the parents forced them to take up the profession.

Another question that the researcher asked is on which grade the respondents got to enable them to Join the College for the printing course. Below is the distribution table on responses. Table 2: Response Rate on the Grade Attained Before Joining College

Grade Frequency
A 90
B 56
C 34
D 42
E 26





From the information, most of the respondent had good grades, which could have enabled them to peruse other knowledge demanding courses like medicine, but they chose on printing. The results show that there were other motivating factors to settle on printing like parents influence as seen in the previous question. However, an almost an equal number of them had grades which could not enable them to join a different course. The outcome means that academic performance forced them to the printing profession.

There was the question on whether the friends influenced the respondent in any way to choose the profession and in which ways. Below is a pie chart with the response distribution.

Figure 2: Responses on Whether Friends Influenced Choice on Printing Career

The information shows that most young people were affected by their peers to select the printing profession. On asking in which ways they were changed, the response includes: my friends were doing the same course, they told me that I fit and am capable of the profession. The results show that peer groups play a significant role in a person to choose the printing profession.

On asking whether the media presentation of the profession and advertisement made the respondent to choose the course, a more significant percentage said yes. Several participants mentioned that the adverts on printing job presented on the media created a notion that there are jobs in the industry making them go for the profession. Others said that the media presents so many adverts on schools offering printing course, the schools seem to be good and were equipped making the course to be attractive to them. However, there are those who said that they felt that the profession is right after seeing successful people in the media who have the same skills. The responses to these questions ties to the question on the grade entry in college. From the two issues, one of those things which makes young people who perform so well in lower classes pick printing career is media influence.

In the next question, the researcher wanted to know whether the salary provided in the printing companies was satisfying. Out of the total 248, 112 said that they were satisfied while 136 said that they were not happy. The information further reveals that some young people did not want to be in printing and that is why they are not satisfied with the salary. Maybe parents forced them, influenced by the media or their peers. Those happy with the wage creates a notion that there is more than money attracting them to the industry. Another factor that could be making them to feels satisfied is love for the profession.

The researcher also sorts to know whether the respondent would quit the profession if given a chance. The responses given were almost equal with those who said yes were 120 and those who reported no being 126. On asking for reasons, some said that they perform poorly in the assigned tasks while others said that the cause does not have enough freedom, which is contrary to their expectations.  Some of those who did not show an interest in quitting argued that they were more interested in the profession. This distribution of the response further indicates that some people did not choose the course on their own and they did not like it.

The last question asked was on what the respondents like about the printing profession and job. More than half of the respondent said that there is nothing, which interests them. The others gave different responses like income, ease of handling tasks, exposure to different printing skills, much free time while another group of people said that they just like the profession but they do not know the reasons. This information further confirms the findings in the previous questions that there are some driving forces, which makes young people select printing as their career. However, some do not like it meant that either parent forced them, peer groups or media messages as suggested are some of the responses above.


This study focused on analyzing factors impacting young people to choose to print as their profession. In one of the objectives, the researcher wanted to know whether and how parents were among the factors. The results show that parents are significant factors in influencing young people’s decision towards the printing profession. The literature about factors affecting career choice states that parents affect the choice of course which their children will pick when in college (Weiss & Steininger, 2013, 201). According to (Atta et al., (2013, 10) there are several ways through which parents affects young people’s choice in their careers. First, they mold the children in a manner that they will grow to believe in the ability to perform specific duties and not the other. For example, a parent can nature and train the children to think that their family has a gift in printing. The self-efficacy towards printing will be high in those children that finally they will choose that as their profession.

Most of the young people as the research shows did not join printing because they wanted, but their parents forced them. The study has found the influence of parents in several questions, which the existing literature also confirms. Kazi, & Akhlaq, (2017, 22) found that those young people who come from families who are together and with much peace tend to listen to their parents and follow the instructions. In such families, the parents choose courses for their children even when they are not interested in such classes (Tabassum, & Rahman, 2014, 11). The research also found that most young people tend to copy their parent’s profession for different reasons. There is confirmation of the finding in the existing literature where children are said to copy parents’ careers to make them happy (Yüce et al., 2013, 103). The research found that the most affected gender is female because they are close to their parents more than males. Parents can shape their beliefs in specific abilities, which they target to benefit like having prestige in the society because of having a child perusing specific prestigious courses (Rule et al., 2015, 499).

Another objective of this research was to find the impact of media on printing profession choice. The researcher found that the media played a role in profession choice. There is a relationship between the findings of this study and the existing literature. Yüce et al., (2013, 103) in their research on factors which affects young people to join teaching profession found that media affects the choice of a career by presenting useful information about the course in school. Further, the study found that young people follow the printing profession after they see how successful those in the industry are and hearing how good the job is paying. Meddour et al., 2016, 16) also found the same where they pointed out that the media presents enticing messages about a particular job motivating young people to study the related course.

A peer group is another factor that the study sorts to find out whether it has input in printing profession choice. The findings report that most young people select the printing profession because their peers are in those courses which also increases their thoughts on the ability anto perform duties related to the job. Current research agrees with the findings whereby it points out that peer groups affect self-efficacy in young people to divert attention to a particular career (Atta et al., 2013, 9; Liming, & Shunguo, 2015, 52). Friends can encourage people on specific skills by showing them how able they are and therefore, increases their belief in abilities towards those areas. In the study, several respondents on being asked how their peers affected the choice of printing profession said that they told them how able they were to carry out the related tasks.

Peers also attract young people in specific careers so that they can study together by strengthening their friendship bond. In a situation where the young people do not fall into the peers’ temptations, the friends tend to lower their self-efficacy towards their preferred career (Atta et al., 2013, 9). They show them how such careers are not good or how they cannot handle such tasks. To this point, we can note that peers ‘play a significant role in affecting young people to choose to print as their preferred profession.

Another issue that the research addresses is the income factor. The findings show that income from printing industry attracted most of the young people to choose the profession. A large number of respondents showed satisfaction in the remuneration form the companies. Although the satisfaction may come from the love of the job, some revealed that they joined the career because of the news about a good salary. The findings are tallying with the current literature where most of the researchers argue that information about a specific job affects career choice (Yüce et al., 2013, 98). According to Yüce et al. (2013, 98), income is one of the extrinsic motivators towards a particular career. Those jobs, which pay well, attract more young people to leave their talented skills for money. There are other motivating factors to the printing profession, which the study found. They include ease of carrying out tasks in printing and much free time in the industry. Yüce et al. (2013, 100) further confirm the findings by classifying such factors as extrinsic and arguing that the benefits associated with particular jobs attract young people to such professions.

Conclusion and Recommendations

There is a great need for managers to understand their employees better in the execution of their management roles. The information will help them to know what motivates the workers and therefore support them for increased productivity.  The study aimed at investigating the factors, which come into play when young people are selecting printing as their profession. The objectives guided through the process by showing the variables in the study.  These dependent variables include parents influence, peer groups, the media and income from the printing job. All the variables were found to have a share in influencing young people. Career choice is a complex process, and it does not depend on the person only, but there are other external factors, which affect the decision. Parents, peer groups and the media have a significant role in building or destroying the confidence of specific careers of the young. Jobs also attract the young to specific careers depending on what they offer for example salary. A young people may, therefore, end up in a career which they do not like, partially like or like completely.

Understanding why an employee is applying for a particular job or are specific profession will help managers to know the extent they can demand performance as well as understand the cause of high or low performance. Based on the findings and the conclusion, this study recommends that Parents take the lead in guiding their children on career choice. However, they should base their guidance on children’s interest and abilities but not the parent’s wish. Also, teachers and instructors have a significant role in shaping young people’s career. They should present enough information to the young concerning different professions to allow them to make informed decisions. The work recommends that employers take their time to understand why the prospective workers chose the profession. The information will help to get employees who are self-motivated and who will not shift to other jobs with time. However, they should guide young people with negative career though out of their experience in careers. This research focused on general factors affecting career choice. Generalization made it impossible to go deep into how the factors influence the decision. Other studies on the topic should focus on individual variables to have more details.






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Appendix: Questionnaire

Survey on factors influencing young people to choose Printing profession

(The study seeks to find out what influences young people to select printing as their profession.  Please provide authentic data and frank opinion on the questions. Write or tick where appropriate.)

Note: The data you share will be kept private and in that case, you should not provide any personal data

  1. Did your Guardians/Parents influence you to select printing profession? (Yes/No)

If Yes, in which way(s) ___________________________________________________

  1. Which grade did you attain to join printing course? (Select one)

A ,B,C,D, or E

  1. Were you influenced by your friends to select printing profession? (Yes/No)

If Yes, in which way(s) ___________________________________________________

  1. Did the media like advertisements and other content influence you to settle of printing Profession? (Yes/No)

If Yes, in which way(s) ___________________________________________________

  1. Are you satisfied with the salary the company you work for pays you? Yes/No
  2. Would you quit printing for another profession if given a chance? (Yes/No)

Give a reason for your answer __________________________________________________

  1. What do you like in printing profession? (explain)