STEPS Overview

The STEPS study commenced in 1995 with 1,323 students attending coeducational government secondary schools in Sydney, Australia, whose educational and career plans were subsequently followed through until 1998. In 2011 a long-term follow-up, and the addition of new cohorts, promises to shed further light on knowledge concerning youth pathways so far.

Another group includes 697 participants from Universities in Sydney and Melbourne, enrolled in a diverse range of degrees between 2006 and 2009. Factors that influenced their decisions to pursue particular fields of career were explored. The longitudinal follow-up aims to discover explanations for stability and changes in career pathways through the course of university studies.

STEPS aims to discover factors which predict young adults’ consistency vs. changes in career plans, with implications for educators, employers and policymakers. The study’s scope means the findings will have a strong policy impact; understandings yielded will be of tremendous import in developing structures which support and scaffold career plans and development for Australian youth.