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· Volume III Issue III


The study aimed to determine if the courses enrolled by the students are aligned with their career preferences based on the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) results. Descriptive method of research was used with the survey questionnaire as the main data gathering tool. A total of 332 students were the respondents of the study. Frequency, percentage, and Pearson’s Correlation were used as statistical treatments. 

The findings of the study revealed that there were more students or 47.35% who chose their course based on their interest while some were influenced by other different factors such as parents’ choice, and the demand for overseas employment. It was also found out that Bachelor of Secondary Education was the preferred course of the respondents, while farming and housekeeping were the common means of livelihood of the respondents’ parents with below poverty line income. Moreover, NCAE results revealed that Professional Services, Business and Finance/Commerce and Computer Technology were the top three career preferences of the respondents. 

The study concluded that although two career preferences of the respondents did not significantly relate to their courses enrolled and only one career preference significantly relate to their course enrolled, it does not necessarily mean that respondents are not aligned in their career preferences. It only shows that there are some students aligned and suited to their career preferences with their course enrolled and some are not. Hence, it is recommended that a collaborative effort from the school administration, guidance counselor/facilitator and parents should also be made to come-up with a better career plan for every student.

KEYWORDS: career planning, career preference, job mismatch, NCAE



The emergence of new careers makes career choice difficult. It requires an adequate and accurate understanding of a career. Villar (2009) cited that often times, after a person has made commitments in terms of time, energy, and money or has cut off other opportunities after choosing a career, that he realizes that it is not what was expected. This would mean waste of time, money and efforts.

The right career choice for students entering into the professional education is critical. It impacts their professional life and future achievement. This is one of life’s turning points. It cannot be left on intuition, preconceived notions, wild imaginations or popular concepts. A misperceived career choice directs all students’ efforts and resources into wrong direction when not aligned with the expectations. It would not only be frustrating but also draining of their energy and resources. The re-alignment is possible, but it has serious implications in terms of time, money and motivation. The students’ career choice must be based on strong knowledge, complete information, appropriate guidance on the matching of individual personality type and other intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The students need to be oriented on new emerging trends, future opportunities and challenges in the context of career choice options. They must know the prevalent market trends and practices and job scenario of various sectors (Ahmed,,2017).

However, mismatch exists in the labor market in the form of educational or skills. Education-job mismatches are reported to have serious effects on wages and are associated with negative labor market outcomes (Allen & Van der Velden, 2001). Although higher education raises productivity in general, the actual level of productivity is also determined by the match between educational and job level. Last March 2017, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said that an estimated 1.2 million students who graduated from college and finished vocational courses will have difficulty finding jobs because of the mismatch between their training and the skills required by most employers. Dimasupil (2017), said that according to Alan Tanjusay, spokeperson of ALU-TUCP pointed out that job mismatch is the prime driver of under employment and that the job-skills mismatch continues to grow, resulting in stiffer competition.

Moreover, Café (2010) mentioned that according to Department of Labor and Employment, local as well as overseas employers continue to grumble over lack of employable graduates in spite of job vacancies. Many of the graduates are either not ready for the jobs or they do not possess the needed skills and knowledge relevant to the work they applied for.

Based on the gathered information, there is a problem of unemployment due to career mismatch; hence, this research was conducted. The researcher, as a Guidance facilitator and as a career advocate is desirous to know the influences of students’ career choices and to determine if the courses, they enrolled are aligned with their career preferences and their interests with the hope that they would be able to share research-based information to enrich career guidance activities. Analysis and the utilization from the result of the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) can help students align their chosen course and career preference. This career examination is annually conducted by the Department of Education. It is an aptitude test that provides information for self-assessment, career awareness and career guidance to junior high school students of the K to 12 Basic Education Program (BEP). The examination is mandatory and the results are recommendatory. For the K to 12 Program, this is intended for career guidance and for choosing the tracks in Senior High School (Llego, 2017).

Furthermore, the NCAE is a Philippine made paper-and-pencil test, standardized and validated using Filipino respondents. It is a multiple-choice test, culture fair, and sensitive that provides an end-user-friendly report format. The instrument was developed to foster the highest quality of education in the Philippines by regulating and monitoring the flow of students to post-secondary institutions of learning and to minimize indiscriminate wastage of manpower and resources by working for a match between manpower skill outputs and job market demands. Specifically, objectives of this career examination are to assess the skills of junior high school students who plan to proceed to senior high school; to provide relevant information on their skills, abilities, and readiness for academic and non-academic courses; and to provide information that will help high school students make wise career decision (Llego, 2017). Hence, NCAE is one of the tools used in career counseling today. The test is intended to make the students aware of their aptitude and skills as basis in choosing the course that they will take in college. Along with this, the researcher attempted to find out if the results of the career assessment exam have significant relations with the courses which the students are currently taking. It is hoped that the findings of this study would serve as a motivation for school counselors to make use of the assessment exam results as a tool in helping students make the right career choice.

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