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Understanding self-efficacy and the dynamics of part-time work and career aspiration

Gbolahan Gbadamosi (Department of Leadership, Strategy and Organisations, Business School, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Carl Evans (Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)
Mark Richardson (Business School, University of Roehampton, London, UK)
Yos Chanthana (Human Resource University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 23 January 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019




Building on the self-efficacy theory and self-theories, the purpose of this paper is to investigate students working part-time whilst pursuing full-time higher education in Cambodia. It explores individuals’ part-time working activities, career aspirations and self-efficacy.


Data were collected in a cross-sectional survey of 850 business and social sciences degree students, with 199 (23.4 per cent) usable responses, of which 129 (65.2 per cent of the sample) indicated they currently have a job.


Multiple regression analysis confirmed part-time work as a significant predictor of self-efficacy. There was a positive recognition of the value of part-time work, particularly in informing career aspirations. Female students were significantly more positive about part-time work, demonstrating significantly higher career aspirations than males. Results also suggest that students recognise the value that work experience hold in identifying future career directions and securing the first graduate position.

Practical implications

There are potential implications for approaches to curriculum design and learning, teaching and assessment for universities. There are also clear opportunities to integrate work-based and work-related learning experience into the curriculum and facilitate greater collaboration between higher education institutions and employers in Cambodia.

Social implications

There are implications for recruitment practices amongst organisations seeking to maximise the benefits derived from an increasingly highly educated workforce, including skills acquisition and development, and self-efficacy.


It investigates the importance of income derived from part-time working to full-time university students in a developing South-East Asian country (Cambodia), where poverty levels and the need to contribute to family income potentially predominate the decision to work while studying.



Gbadamosi, G., Evans, C., Richardson, M. and Chanthana, Y. (2019), "Understanding self-efficacy and the dynamics of part-time work and career aspiration", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 468-484.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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