Career resilience: Career adversities and the effects of coping strategies on higher education students’ career path

Shu Chen Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


By using the concept of positive psychology, this study explored career adversities and relationships of different coping strategies with chosen career paths in Higher Education students; it also investigated their cognitive capabilities for career resilience. This study adopted a content analysis approach to examine the professional tenacity of 229 students. Data analysis yielded the following results: (1) The career adversities could be divided into eight categories: health, learning, interpersonal relationships, love and family, self-identity, and life meaning. Among all categories, learning was the adversity that most students experienced. (2) Students reacted with negative reactions (e.g., negative feelings, cognitions, and behaviors) on encountering an adversity. (3) Coping strategies adopted by the students included the use of internal resources (e.g., personal attitude and belief) and external resources (e.g., seeking support from peers or parents). (4) The cognitive of participants regarding the key career resilience elements emphasized the internal resources of individuals. These elements specifically included optimism, emotional adaptability, and problem-solving abilities. (5) Regarding suggestions for developing career resilience, the students proposed ideas, such as learning from failure, developing problem-solving skills, knowing yourself, learning how to manage stress, role modeling, and seeking assistance. In summary, this provisional study revealed the potential concepts of career adversities and resilience in Higher Education students. Future research should focus on developing an instrument for measuring career resilience and constructing a career-resilience curriculum and testing its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-230
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept


  • Adversity
  • Career resilience
  • Coping strategy
  • Higher education students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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