A vocational decision is one of the most important decisions that an individual must make in a lifetime. Deciding on further education or choosing one's profession depends on many factors. In this master's thesis we introduced and analyzed factors that influence a child/adolescent's vocational decision. We were interested in whether or not there exist any differences between pupils with special needs and those without special needs.
The theoretical part of the thesis introduces a history of vocational orientation, professional terminology, activities and phases of vocational orientation, theories of choosing one's profession and characteristics and education of children with special needs.
Because school represents one of the important factors of a successful vocational orientation, the empirical part researched the pupils' satisfaction with school counseling work concerning vocational information and counseling. We also researched how pupils get the majority of information about profession and further education and how involved they are themselves in the process of information gathering. We also wanted to find out how pupils in the ninth grade make their decision about further schooling and in which secondary school programs they mostly enroll in.
When making their vocational decisions, pupils mostly consider their own wishes, interests and abilities. They receive the majority of information regarding their vocational field from their parents, school counselors, and on the internet. Although we found out that the majority of pupils are satisfied with vocational information and counseling in elementary school, there is nevertheless still a lot to be done regarding this subject. We suggest that school counselors devote more of their time for vocational orientation which could be done by relieving them of administrative work, with introducing lessons on vocational orientation in the school curriculum, with vocational education at different school subjects, with better cooperation with institutions connected with professions, etc. Furthermore, in our opinion, a vocational field should be included in individual programs for pupils with special needs; at least starting from grade six.