An Assessment of Students Job Preference Using a Discrete Choice Experiment: a postgraduate case study

H. Gyarteng-Mensah, D. Owusu-Manu, D.J. Edwards, D.J. Baidoo, Hatem El-Gohary

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Using a discrete choice experiment (DCE), this study aims to better understand the job preference of postgraduate students studying at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Institute of Distance Learning (KNUST-IDL), Ghana and also rank the attributes of a job they deem important. Methodology: The research adopted a positivist epistemological design contextualised within an deductive approach and case study strategy. Primary survey data was collected from a stratified random sample of 128 postgraduate students with multi-sectorial career prospects. Sample students were subjected to a DCE in which their stated preferences were collected using closed ended questionnaires with twenty-eight pairs of hypothetical job profiles. Respondents? preferences from the DCE data were then modelled using the conditional logit. Findings: The research reveals that: salary in the range GHC 2,800.00 to GHC 3,400.00 ($1=GHS 5.3); supportive management; very challenging jobs; and jobs located in the city were the top attributes that were significant and had the most impact in increasing the utility of selecting a particular job. Interestingly, jobs with no extra hours workload was not significant hence, had a negative impact upon student preferences. Originality: This novel research is the first to utilise a DCE to better elicit preference and trade-offs of postgraduate students in a developing country towards varying job characteristics that have an impact on their future employment decisions. Knowledge advancements made provide invaluable insight to employers and policy makers on the key criteria that should be implemented in order to retain the best candidate.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Humanities and Applied Sciences
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 11 Jan 2021


    • Utility
    • preference
    • attributes
    • postgraduate students
    • discrete choice experiment


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