A Look Back: A Retrospective Analysis of the Sequence of Life Course Events over 22 YearsReport as inadecuate

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British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer

At both the provincial and federal levels, a lively policy debate on the types of education, training, and skill acquisition required to meet the demands of the British Columbia and Canadian workforce is taking place. Despite acknowledgement of the need for lifelong learning and reskilling in light of frequent career changes over the life course, typically this debate finds its locus around the transition from school to work. Very little policy or research effort strives to examine, over the long term, the relationship between education and employment, let alone other life course activities such as unemployment and "other" activities. Also, it is rare to examine retrospectively the trajectories that led individuals to their current life space location. A gender lens is critical when asking and answering questions about education and work. The "Paths on Life's Way" data set (http://blogs.ubc.ca/paths/) allows for such a detailed retrospective examination of transitions and trajectories. The "Paths on Life's Way" project is the only longitudinal database of its kind in British Columbia and one of the few longitudinal studies of youth in Canada. Spanning over 22 years, this data set contains detailed education, work and life course related information collected at five points in time--1989, 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2010. In this report, information reported monthly (i.e., at 259 time points) on post-secondary education, employment, unemployment, and "other" activities are employed. In these analyses, the author employs responses to mail out survey questionnaires and use data from the 574 respondents who participated in all phases of data collection and present analyses of the entire 22 years between September 1988 and March 2010--this time in reverse order; that is, beginning in March 2010 and extending back to September 1988. The analyses employ 540 valid cases. The author has conducted analyses by highest post-secondary credential earned, parental educational background, and geographic location of origin for both men and women. In this report, the fourth in a series, the author uses the technique of sequence analysis to capture the complex types and nature of various trajectories of individuals over a 22 year period. Sequence analysis allows for the examination of all the elements in a sequence simultaneously and for the visual presentation that facilitates the detection of patterns. The main purpose of the analysis is to build on previous research by providing a more fine grained analysis of trajectories experienced by individuals across the course of their lives. The author concludes by offering policy implications for British Columbia and beyond.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Longitudinal Studies, Questionnaires, Surveys, Parent Background, Educational Attainment, Postsecondary Education, Employment, Unemployment, Labor Force, Education Work Relationship, Lifelong Learning, Skill Development, Experience, Time Perspective, Social Environment

British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer. 709-555 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3H6, Canada. Tel: 604-412-7700; Fax: 604-683-0576; e-mail: info[at]bccat.ca; Web site: http://www.bccat.ca

Author: Andres, Lesley

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=369&id=ED553997

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