Occupational Choices of Romanian Rural Youth

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This paper tries to identify the main factors influencing the decisions related to occupational choices of rural youth from Cluj County, Romania, thus contributing to a better understanding of the problems and opportunities of Romanian rural communities. In order to achieve this, the results of two surveys are compared: the first one was carried out in 2007 and the second in 2011. The two surveys adopted the same methodology, thus allowing us to test the stability of the outcomes over a period of four years and highlight the main changes occurring in that period. In 2011 information was collected also regarding the current situation of young people belonging to the first generation, thus the cross-sectional analysis has been completed with a longitudinal analysis. Results show that the educational choices of rural youth from Cluj County were not essentially modified in the period 2007-2011, but there is a growing uncertainty regarding their future profession. Most of them want to work in the services sector, the preference for agriculture remaining low and there is a clear and persistent gender division among chosen professions. The main factors identified as having an influence on continuing education are: gender (more girls opting for continuing education than boys), school results and parents’ attitude towards education. Based on the conclusions of the analysis, some policy implications are also discussed.

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