Friday, 1 April 2011

The career path survey is now closed

Many thanks to those who took the time to complete it, it’s very much appreciated. Thinking about it now I suppose the question I wanted to answer was whether there was a life changing moment when those in the performing / creative arts just know that that was what they wanted to do. Hence I constructed this survey and immediately I can see on reflection that two questions are redundant and added nothing to my big question. These questions are about current age and gender. This means that in future I would think very carefully about why a question in a survey is important – each question should add something to the survey.

Summary of the findings.

On career influences – 78% were as a result of personally known influences whereas 4 out of the 18 were attributed to media, famed practising artiste or no-one.

In terms of a life event influencing a career choice only 40% confirmed that this was the case. Of those events 50% (2) were as a result of seeing a performance while 25% (1) was down to the buzz from performing and the other 25% (1) down to work related illness in the family. These are small numbers from which to draw firm conclusions.

In terms of age, career choices were made before 16 by 80% and in terms of the family influences 90% received positive support whereas school was much lower in this regard at 30%.

When asked about good moments from career respondents recorded this in writing. These answers are coded into types and of the answers 60% describe performance as a career highlight while 20% of replies mention getting a paid job and the other 20% relating to learning and completion of educational course / learning.

Evaluating the survey tool

In reviewing these responses I would have to say that the tool was rather limited in trying to answer my question. The best responses were those which demanded a written response from the participant. The information was just so much richer than that collected in the quantitative part of the survey. On the other hand, the good thing about the survey was that it allowed me to gather a lot of data relatively quickly and inexpensively and it suggests areas to dig deeper in if I was to carry on with this inquiry. To get more from this inquiry I would want to gather more stories from people – therefore I would consider interviews or perhaps a focus group.


  1. Thanks Rosemary - a great example of using an inquiry tool. I will write a blog about reviewing literature.

  2. Thanks for this post. It has helped me review and structure my own findings!

  3. Rosemary - thanks for your comment on my previous post (see below for the link)

    As you suggested, in my most recent post I have begun to look through the 'lenses' of the theories that are explored in the reader. They are pretty bug concepts to begin to get your head around, but it has thrown up some useful ideas.

    Thinking ahead towards the final task for the module, I wouldn't if you would mind taking a look at this most recent post on my blog? I would really appreciate your comments as to whether I am referencing things properly...for example, I wasn't sure if you were meant to list them alphabetically or in the order they are mentioned in your piece of writing? This is something I am very keen to get right and haven't that much experience of!

  4. Than-you very much for having a look at my most recent post Rosemary. It's good to have your support and to know that I am moving along the right lines with citations and referencing. I feel like it is really becoming clear to me now how to get the most out of the course; I have been enjoying playing around with ideas and challenging myself to find ways in which the theories from the reader relate specifically to my professional practice. Sometimes it's difficult to get going, but once I find a 'hook' and my thoughts begin to flow, it's very stimulating.