Many roads lead to Rome: Researching antecedents and outcomes of contemporary school-to-work transitions

Steiner, Rebekka; Hirschi, Andreas; Akkermans, Jos (2022). Many roads lead to Rome: Researching antecedents and outcomes of contemporary school-to-work transitions. Journal of Career Development, 29(1), pp. 3-17. Sage Publications 10.1177/08948453211063580

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The school-to-work transition is the first significant career transition for many individuals and represents a critical developmental task in adolescence and early adulthood (Dietrich et al., 2012). Thus, it is not surprising that over the past twenty-five years, the transition from school to work has received considerable attention in the fields of career development and vocational psychology (e.g., Akkermans, Blokker et al., 2021; Blustein et al., 1997). This research illustrates that a successful school-to-work transition has important implications for long-term career and personal development. For example, success in this transition relates positively to later work-related outcomes, such as job satisfaction (Pinquart et al., 2003), and well-being outcomes, such as life satisfaction (Litalien et al., 2013). Today, the topic is highly relevant, especially as the transition itself has been fundamentally changing over the past years (Akkermans, Blokker et al., 2021; de Vos et al., 2019), and moving from education into the labor market has become far from being a trivial and automatic transition (e.g., Krahn et al., 2015). For example, in the context of the rapidly changing business and labor markets accelerated by the fourth industrial revolution (Hirschi, 2018), adolescents and young adults have to increasingly cope with unpredictable career trajectories (Akkermans et al., 2015). There is also greater variability in the definitions of what comprises a "successful" school-to-work transition. For example, beyond finding employment, also well-being and meaningfulness have become essential hallmarks of a "successful or "adaptable" (Akkermans, Blokker et al., 2021) school-to-work transition.
This special issue intends to take account of this increased complexity and variability in current school-to-work transitions. It provides a basis and inspiration for future innovative school-to-work transition research and practical attempts to support adolescents and young adults in this critical career transition. Specifically, we combine papers from different disciplines (e.g., psychology, educational science) that focus on various phases of the school-to-work transition (e.g., pre-transition, post-transition). The special issue also features different samples (e.g., compulsory school students, university students) in different countries (e.g., US, Indonesia) and applies different methodologies (e.g., quantitative, literature review). In all, the special issue provides a multifaceted and comprehensive picture of current trends in empirical research on school-to-work transitions. This editorial is organized as follows: We first summarize and critically reflect on the contributions of the included papers. We then use these reflections to synthesize existing knowledge on current school-to-work transitions and formulate a guide for future research and applications into praxis. Table 1 gives an overview of all included papers in this special issue.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Steiner, Rebekka Simone, Hirschi, Andreas


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Sage Publications




Rebekka Simone Steiner

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2022 14:15

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:18

Publisher DOI:





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