This study investigated the effects of motivation for learning (ML) on career exploration (CE) in first-year university students’ career education, focusing on changes in career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE). We examined internship as a form of CE. We hypothesized that if students’ ML improved during career education, they would be more likely to demonstrate CE if their CDMSE decreased. We conducted a questionnaire survey of students at a private university in western Japan. Data from a total of 328 students were analyzed. Regarding the relationships between ML, CE and CDMSE, the results revealed that a decline in CDMSE had a moderating effect on the relationship between increasing ML and CE. Thus, the results supported our initial hypothesis. Finally, we discussed the implications of our research findings for the theory and practice of effective university career education.
The present study aimed to explore the process of career goal clarification among freshmen and sophomores in Chinese local universities and examine the difference in the process of career goal clarification by career decisionmaking self-efficacy. Specifically, the effects of self-improvement motivation and career exploration on career goal clarity were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM), as well as the varying effects of career decisionmaking self-efficacy levels on the career goal clarification process through multiple group analysis. The participants were 138 freshman students and 176 sophomore students. As a result, it was suggested that self-improvement motivation could be split into self-fulfillment orientation and be-myself orientation. Self-fulfillment orientation directly influences career goal clarity and indirectly influences mediations by career exploration. Be-myself orientation indirectly influences career goal clarity mediated by career exploration. And environmental exploration strongly influenced promoting career goal clarity in the process. Additionally, several differences were found between the low and high career decision-making self-efficacy groups in the process. However, only in the low self-efficacy group was the relation between be-myself orientation and career goal clarity confirmed. In contrast, only in the high self-efficacy group was the connection between self-fulfillment orientation and career goal clarity confirmed. Furthermore, the influence of self-exploration on environmental exploration was significantly weaker in the low self-efficacy group than in the high self-efficacy group. Therefore, to promote lower-grade university students’ career goal clarity, providing career support per career decision-making self-efficacy is imperative.