The Relationship between Holland’s Personality Types, Gender, Congruence and Satisfaction with Degree Programs among Thirdyear Students
Muriithi, Gitonga Ciriaka
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With the increased number of students enrolling in and graduating from Kenyan public and private universities in the last three decades, it is important to find out if students’ personality types are congruent with choice of degree program and demands of the job market. In Kenya, the extent to which the personality types match the choice of degree program has not been examined. This study examined the relationship between students’ personality types using the Holland typology, the degree of congruence and the levels of satisfaction with the choice of degree program. The theoretical framework was based on the Holland theory, which postulates that people will spend a considerable amount of time seeking work places/academic environments that match their personality types. The assumptions by Holland’s theory that were tested in this study were: the outcome of a match between the personality types and the academic environment is congruent and satisfying and the outcome of mismatch between the personality types and the academic environment is incongruent and dissatisfying. The study design was ex-post facto design because the choice of the degree program had already taken place and the students were in their third year of study implying that they were stable in their choice. The independent variables were the personality types and the choice of the degree programs. The dependent variables were the degree of congruence and levels of satisfaction. The Self Directed Search 4th Edition questionnaire by (Rosen, Holmberg, & Holland, 1994) was the main tool for data collection. A satisfaction scale and an interview schedule were also used to gather information on what the students’ felt about the choice of the academic program. This study used measures of relationship and association techniques employing Pearson’s coefficient correlation and Chi-square to analyze data. The results indicated that the choice of degree program by majority of the students at Kenyatta University was significantly correlated to personality types, gender and levels of satisfaction. The relationship between personality types and choice of degree show Chi score (X2 = 457.816, df = 30, p= .000) indicating the significant relationship. There was significant relationship between personality types and the choice of degree program (r=.34, n 389, p=.000). Congruence had a weak correlation with choice of degree program (r=.04, n = 389, .433), but significantly negative correlated with satisfaction with the degree program (r=-.14, n=389, p=.008). The following conclusions were drawn; Holland typology can be used to classify students’ personality types and degree programs, that gender has significant influence in the choice of degree program, that congruence is a predictor of choice of the degree program but not a strong predictor of satisfaction. It is therefore recommended that a detailed study be carried out to investigate reasons why congruence found to be a predictor of choice of degree program is a weak predictor of satisfaction. Secondly, there is need to carry out a detailed study to investigate the cultural validity of Holland’s tenets in Kenya and to determine the person-environment fit in the different academic programs.