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S12: Gender Differences of the Intention, Attitude, and Behaviour of Job Searching Among Final-Year Pharmacy Undergraduate Students

Poster Presenter

      Xinyu Ke

      • Student
      • Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau


To identify and analyse the differences of job-searching intention, attitude and behaviour of the final-year pharmacy undergraduate students by genders.


A questionnaire study on demographic characteristics, educational situation, intention, attitude, worrisome things and self-autonomy in job searching was conducted among final-year pharmacy undergraduate students at three universities in Shaanxi province, northwest China.


There were a total of 405 final-year pharmacy students at the three universities; 276 returned questionnaires, and 273 returned valid questionnaires. The response rate was 68.1%. Among all participants, 39.6% male students and 30.7% female students intended to work in a county hospital followed by 29.2% and 25.3% intended to work in the pharmaceutical industry, respectively. Another 4.4% wanted to work in other fields with male students(12.5%) around five times the female students(2.7%). More than half of the participants were natural toward job selection while more female students were positive(31.1%) than males(16.7%) and less felt pessimistic(12.0%) than males(22.9%)(?2=6.362, P<0.05). More than half of the participants expected 3,000~4,999 yuan monthly income while more females(24.9%) expected a lower monthly income(1,000~2,999 yuan) than males(14.6%), whereas more males(35.4%) expected a higher monthly income(over 5,000 yuan) than females(22.2%). If they couldn’t get a job, 60.4% males and 73.1% females chose to maintain the status quo, 12.5% males and 21.6% females intended to pursue a higher-level degree and 21.7% males and 5.3% females intended to change careers or start a self-employment career(?2=23.245, P<0.001). During the job selection process, 45.8% males worried about being elbowed due to their insufficient social relationships, while only 19.4% of the females felt the same(?2=15.572, P<0.001). Besides, 18.8% males and 8.0% females concerned over other issues(?2=5.130, P<0.05). Compared to females, males concerned more about being affected by outside factors including public opinion, job placement shortage and lack of social network. The autonomy of job selection was significantly different between genders as well(?2=11.436, P<0.01). 50.0% of the males would make decisions independently, with 16.7% would obey parents’ will; the percentage of females were both 40.9%. The remaining 33.3% males also chose to take information from other sources.


This research showed that in the Chinese context, both male and female final-year pharmacy undergraduate students’ career intentions are to work in public medical institutions, followed by working in the pharmaceutical industry. Since working in other non-pharmacy fields might get better economic returns than working in public hospitals, male students were more likely to quit the pharmacy-related field showed that male students were more economically oriented than female students at the beginning of their professional lives. Female students were more optimistic toward job selection with a lower career expectation while male students felt more pessimistic with a higher career expectation. If they couldn’t find a job, there was a significant difference between the two genders about how would they plan afterwards. Males were more worried about being elbowed due to their insufficient social relationships than females. Both males and females were inclined to make decisions independently. Besides, females also intended to obey parents’ will while males intended to take information from other multiple sources. Educators should provide individual occupational instructions based on characteristics of every single student for employment guidance and plan their career paths effectively. Policy makers should pay more attention to gender equity by formulating the policies or enacting and enforcing the legislation. And employers should correspondingly support and implement the policies and observe the law. Improving and strengthening the awareness of gender equity in the whole society might help optimize the construction of Chinese pharmacy workforce efficiently.