Psychological Prerequisites For Pupils' Professional Self-Determination In Senior School Age


The article analyzes the psychological and pedagogical literature on the problem of psychological prerequisites for professional self-determination in senior school age. The factors and stages of professional self-determination are determined. The factors of professional self-determination are self-esteem, formed value orientations, professional orientation, the presence of internal motives for choice, personal professional plans, the level of claims, inclinations, the level of general and special abilities of the individual, and the presence of stable motives, professional self-awareness. It was revealed that professional self-determination is the main neoplasm in adolescence and implies that the pupils have two kinds of information: on the one hand, about the world of professions in general, about the requirements of each of them, on the other hand, about themselves, their abilities, and interests. The process of professional self-determination is considered a continuous personal path, during which a person determines professional activity for himself. Students identify the professional activities to which they are predisposed, based on personal qualities and various factors. A psychological and pedagogical study was carried out, the results of which determined and empirically substantiated the psychological prerequisites for professional self-determination in senior school age. Characteristic psychological prerequisites for high school students with a high level of readiness to choose a profession are formed value orientations, a pronounced professional orientation of the individual, and the presence of internal motivation for choice.

Keywords: Career guidance, high school student, profession, professional self-determination, senior school age


Currently, socio-economic conditions are rapidly changing. This circumstance leads to the particular relevance of the problems associated with the professional self-determination of a person. Early adolescence is a significant period in the life of every person. At this time, there is a formation of stable interests in certain academic subjects, which become the basis for choosing future professional activities.

Modern high school students are in a state of uncertainty for a long time, as a rule, they do not have clear ideas about their psychological characteristics. In this regard, high school graduates often make hasty, unconscious choices.

Problem Statement

What are the psychological prerequisites for professional self-determination of modern senior schoolchildren?

In modern conditions, there are noticeable changes in the processes of professional self-determination of older students. To choose a future profession, it is necessary to understand what goals a high school students would like to realize, and what knowledge to have about the world around them and the world of professions.

Research Questions

The subject of the problem under study is the process of professional self-determination in senior school age.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is to identify the psychological prerequisites for professional self-determination in senior school age.

Research Methods

The following research methods were used in the study: theoretical analysis of psychological and pedagogical literature; diagnostic methods: method “Readiness to choose professions”, written by Uspensky; technique “Value orientations of the individual – 8”, written by Leevik; technique “Questionnaire of interests”, written by Golomshtok, modified by Filimonova; technique “Motives choice of the profession”, written by Ovcharova; methods of mathematical processing of research results.


The orientation of a person in the changing world of professions reflects the idea of “professional self-determination.” At the same time, the term “career guidance” is the most accurate in terms of one's own potential and inner content. For this reason, Dinner (2018) addresses the issues of the continuous movement of the professional formation of a people in their labor activity. Dinner recommends using the concept of "career guidance and professional self-determination" as a way to regulate social and labor relations in the context of the reproduction of human resources. At the stage of creation, vocational guidance has a great influence on the distribution of resources in the field of education according to trends and specialties, according to levels of education and forms of training.

The search for meaning in professional activity, the correlation of individual goals, preferences, opportunities, and predispositions occurs in the process of professional self-determination. This process is a long-term, long-term, multi-stage activity.

Individuals in the process of implementing a professional choice in each period acquires a clear idea of ​​their professional purpose. At this stage, individuals are ready to make their own choice and identifies himself with the upcoming specialty. Only here we can affirm the professional self-determination as a result (Makhaeva, 2000).

It should be emphasized that the formation of readiness to consciously draw up a plan, adjust and realize the possibilities of personal development, is put forward as an impeccable goal. In reality, this goal is rarely achieved. Despite this, the standards are not formed to reach them but to ensure that the aspirations are purposeful. Ovnikyan (2017) notes that a person's professional self-determination is a modification of people's views about themselves and about the role they occupy in professional and surrounding society. In turn, this carries the main meaning, namely, the acquisition of a professional identity, which is considered a positive consequence of the professional self-determination of an individual.

Professional self-determination is a process of personality formation, each period of which is characterized by particular importance. The interrelation of professional self-determination and building one's career development trajectory is especially significant.

Professional self-determination is considered as a personal choice of professional activity through a set of social and professional needs and opportunities for self-realization.

Sokolova emphasizes that career guidance work is carried out in the learning process, teachers pay attention to which areas high school students express a steady interest in, what opportunities exist, and an in-depth study of individual academic subjects takes place. Particular attention is paid to self-determination, the development of professionally significant qualities takes place, and professional plans are monitored and adjusted (Talanova, 2012).

Senior school age is the most important period in the interests of the formation and formation of professional self-determination of the individual, when it is necessary to consider one's own skills, inclinations, capabilities, and abilities.

The process of professional self-determination is influenced by external and internal conditions:

1. understanding the meaning of socially useful work;

2. general orientation in the socio-economic situation of the state;

3. awareness of the need for targeted and comprehensive training for the purpose of successful self-determination and self-realization;

4. general orientation in the society of professional labor;

5. highlighting distant professional goal (dreams);

6. coordination of dreams with other significant current goals (family, personal, leisure);

7. Knowledge of preferred goals;

8. knowledge of internal barriers that complicate the achievement of the goal (Uspensky, 2000).

Thus, the professional self-determination of older students is a difficult individual process, during which, due to the presence of individual distinctive features, students have the opportunity to intensively establish their own position to determine the value of future professional activity. However not all high school students are able to determine in which professional field they can realize themselves and achieve success. It is difficult for them to decide on a variety of specialties and to choose the optimal educational institution. In connection with the foregoing, the goal of parents and teachers is to assist the high school student in making a professional choice.

The psychological readiness of an individual to choose a profession is a fundamental factor in successful professional self-determination. The concept of “readiness to choose a profession, professional self-determination” in pedagogical science does not have a specific interpretation. On the one hand, readiness to choose a profession is a stable state of a student's personality, which is based on a dynamic combination of certain qualities, containing a focus of interests and predispositions, an understanding of one's own distinctive features in connection with the choice of a profession.

On the other hand, readiness to choose a profession is a readiness to select a specialty, like inner conviction and meaningfulness, the conditions for choosing a specialty, awareness of the work environment, of the physical and psychological conditions that a specialty imposes on a person.

A senior student is characterized by a focus on the future, it is very important to develop a life plan (who to be and what to be), to think over ways to achieve the goal.

During this period, the moral stability of the individual appears. In individual action, high school students are increasingly guided by personal beliefs, views that are created based on the data received and their own life experience.

Self-determination and regulation of personality in senior school age is associated with the formation of a worldview. In adolescence, students discover their own inner world. During this period, students acquire a degree of formal-logical thinking, intellectual development is observed, accompanied by the accumulation and systematization of knowledge about the environment. Self-analysis in senior school age becomes the foundation on which worldview beliefs are built.

Another phenomenon related to self-determination is the modification of learning motivation. High school students, whose main activity, as a rule, is called educational and professional, are accepted to regard their studies as the necessary basis for their future professional work. The desire of schoolchildren for knowledge is characterized by a motivating motive for achieving the goal, namely, admission to a higher educational institution.

Solving the tasks of professional self-determination, selection of the actual path, the student starts from the key current standards, positions, views, and value orientations that he develops. Concentration, interest, memory capacity increases, the assimilation of educational material increases, theoretical and logical understanding is created. A significant change is taking place in the emotional area, independence, confidence, self-criticism is manifested. In personal development, high school students are increasingly acquiring qualities associated with adulthood.

At senior school age, the connection between educational and professional interests is strengthened. Boys and girls are interested in those subjects that are necessary for the implementation of their chosen professional activities. The specificity of teaching contributes to the differentiation of the professional interests of older students (Klimov, 2012).

Senior schoolchildren are characterized by emotional irascibility, an extremely sensitive understanding of the society around them and external influences from the environment, an increased sense of anxiety and a huge number of fears give rise to vulnerability and uncertainty. High school students are most skeptical of life's uncertainty, as they are experiencing a transition from adolescence to adulthood. The stress associated with passing final exams, various tests, thinking about the upcoming professional activity and life in general cause psychological stress in the senior student. These circumstances have a huge impact on the formation of the personality of a high school student as a person as a whole, and a future member of society.

During the period of senior school age, there is a desire for professional self-determination, as a variant of activity. This desire appears when the student has practically studied the basic types of activity, learned to combine them, apply and take them as a base from the context of the important problems facing him; achieved a certain significance of representing orientation towards professional labor activity (Klimov, 2012).

One of the main problems of high school students is the choice of their life path and professional activity. The difficulty lies in the fact that early youth, while creating internal conditions favorable for a person to begin to think about what he lives for, does not provide sufficient means to solve it. The problem of the meaning of life is not only philosophical but also quite practical.

Today, high school students are not sufficiently informed about the professions that are currently available and in demand in the labor market. Lack of experience and ignorance of their inclinations gives rise to difficulties for older students, both in choosing a professional path and in its implementation. Often, older students are guided by high income, prestige in society, the opinion of parents or friends. Many of them do not think about the fact that in the learning process they may become disappointed and lose interest (Bulueva, 2021).

Separately, it is necessary to note the criteria for the formation of high school students' readiness for professional self-determination:

  • Cognitive criteria: this is the level of high school students' ideas about their own individual psychophysiological qualities, the level of knowledge about the content of the chosen profession, awareness of where one can get the appropriate education;
  • Motivational-required criteria: the level of motivation of students, their active life position, understanding the importance of the profession, the relationship of interests with value orientations, volitional qualities, attention, emotional experiences;
  • Activity-practical criterion: the ability of a high school students to correlate their personal characteristics and professional requirements, mastery of the basic methods of work.

Bondareva (2015) ranks among the psychological and pedagogical conditions that assist the professional self-determination of older students, the following:

1. focus on the range of interests, preparedness for future activities, providing the ability to achieve positive results and success in work;

2. development in students of accurate ideas about the environment of specialties;

3. involvement of students in the action of goal setting and planning their activities;

4. formation of situations of selection and self-determination, public and high-class tests.

Thus, we can conclude that professional self-determination of a person is not just a choice of a profession but a constant search, constant self-improvement and the formation of interests that begin to form in educational activities and continue already in work. Professional self-determination is a set of internal psychological processes of objective self-knowledge and critical self-assessment of the level of intellectual development, personal inclinations, interests, and abilities, comparing one's professionally important qualities and capabilities with the requirements that are necessary to master a particular profession. Professional self-determination is determined primarily by personal interests and attitudes. Career guidance is an important task in shaping the idea of ​​professional activity among high school students.

However, high school students need guidance and assistance from career counselors. For successful professional self-determination and progress towards the desired goal, high school students need to be informed about the world of professions, provide guidance that reflects the demand for different professions in the labor market, talk about the features of professional activity and the stages of professional training.

One of the ways to help high school students in their professional choice is the introduction of specialized education. In the Federal State Educational Standards of the average academic performance for grades 10–11, 4 areas of study in specialized classes are defined:

  • natural and mathematical sciences;
  • humanitarian sciences;
  • technology;
  • socio-economic sciences.

For high school students who have not decided on their preferences, there is a fifth – a universal profile (Federal State Educational Standard, 2014).

All curricula are exemplary, and the school administration can change them at its discretion. More than 12 different profiles have already emerged in schools that provide specialized education: pedagogical, medical, philological, information technology, and others. Profile education involves deepening knowledge, inclinations, and improving previously acquired skills through the creation of a system of specialized training in the upper grades of a general education school.

The purpose of profile education is to help high school students in self-determination, as well as to form an adequate idea of ​​their capabilities. In the process of learning, some high school students realize that the chosen profile does not correlate with their inclinations and interests. In this case, your profile can be changed and go to another class.

Today, in education, the line of individualization is relevant, associated with the planning of one's educational and professional future and the creation of individual educational trajectories. In accordance with the Federal State Educational Standard, an educational institution provides students with the opportunity to form individual curricula, including compulsory subjects: elective subjects, additional subjects, elective courses, and general subjects for inclusion in all curricula. In addition, the curriculum provides for the mandatory implementation of an individual project (Federal State Educational Standard, 2014).

The purpose of school career guidance is the gradual formation of internal readiness for independent and conscious planning, adjustment, and implementation of personal professional plans. A feature of school vocational guidance work is the vocational guidance impact on students in the educational process, which is carried out throughout all the years of study.

In educational organizations, vocational guidance work is carried out through extracurricular, extracurricular activities, in the context of the interaction of the school with other structures: the family, vocational schools, the employment service, enterprises, and organizations. Career guidance is an integral part of the educational process of a general educational organization and is designed to solve a complex of psychological, pedagogical, socioeconomic, medical, and physiological tasks.

The effectiveness of career guidance is determined by the readiness of a high school student to consciously and independently, without outside help, make a decision in favor of a particular professional activity, as well as plan a professional career.

Thus, it is possible to bring each student to professional self-determination and a conscious choice of a working life path only in the process of career guidance.

Accompanying the professional self-determination of high school students is a complex multi-level system, which includes the following:

1. Professional education.

2. Professional diagnostics.

3. Development of interests and inclinations of students.

4. Professional advice (Shapkina, 2013).

For the determination of the psychological prerequisites for professional self-determination in senior school age, we organized an empirical study based on MBOU "Secondary School No. 8" in the city of Grozny.

Four diagnostic methods were used to conduct the study. The results of the methodology "Readiness for the choice of professions" made it possible to identify three levels of readiness: low, medium, and high. Thus, among the 75 high school students participating in the study, most students with a low level of readiness (40.01 %) are not ready to choose favor of a particular profession. 26.66 % of high school students showed an average level of readiness to choose a profession, which indicates that students have roughly decided where they want to study and who they want to work in the future, but they have certain doubts. 33.33 % of high school students have a high level of readiness to choose a profession. They decided which educational institution they want to go to study and who they want to be in the future.

Based on the conducted methods “Value orientations of the individual – 8” (Leevik), “Map of interests” (Golomstock) modified by Filimonova, “Motives for choosing a profession” (Ovcharova), and comparing the results with three levels of readiness to choose professions, it was found that high school students with a high level of professional readiness, compared with high school students with an average and low level of readiness, have higher indicators for all value orientations, there is a pronounced cognitive interest, and a developed intrinsic motivation for choice.

Thus, the results of the empirical study made it possible to identify the psychological prerequisites that contribute to the successful professional self-determination of older students: formed value orientations, a pronounced professional orientation, and the presence of internal motivation for choice.


Professional self-determination is the main in adolescence and implies that students have information of two kinds: about the world of professions in general, about the requirements of each of them, and about themselves, their abilities, and interests. The process of professional self-determination is a continuous personal path, during which people determines for themselves the professional activity to which they are predisposed, based on personal qualities and various factors.

An analysis of the psychological and pedagogical literature made it possible to identify the main psychological prerequisites for

the professional self-determination of older students: personal professional plans, the level of claims, inclinations, and the level of general and special abilities of the individual, the presence of stable motives, professional self-awareness, focus on the range of interests.

Consideration of the basic prerequisites for professional self-determination led to the following assumption. Today, among high school students, there is an increase in the importance of individual goals of professional self-determination and a decrease in the importance of society's expectations. Schoolchildren understand that they must be prepared for the ever-changing conditions of the modern labor market. However, this fact does not negate the fact that the choice of a profession often occurs without a sufficient level of justification, and graduates cannot fully justify their choice. Therefore, the problem of professional self-determination is acute for educational institutions. The most important task of educational organizations is to create conditions for successful professional self-determination of high school students, and the organization of psychological and pedagogical support to form psychological prerequisites.

Thus, the analysis of psychological and pedagogical literature allowed assuming that the successful professional self-determination of older students depends on such psychological prerequisites as formed value orientations, a pronounced professional orientation of the individual, and the presence of internal motivation for choice.


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25 November 2022

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Bulueva, S. I., Gadaborsheva, Z. I., & Mungieva, N. Z. (2022). Psychological Prerequisites For Pupils' Professional Self-Determination In Senior School Age. In D. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism (SCTCMG 2022), vol 128. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 107-115). European Publisher.