• Phanhpakit Onphandala
  • Vanvisa Philavong
  • Bouadam Sengkhamkhoutlavong


Background and Purpose: In Lao PDR, young people have been striving to earn higher degrees, especially in economics or business administration, in the hope of having more opportunities to be employed in the public sector. Meanwhile, they also assume a high risk of unemployment, since the government intends to limit the number of approved civil servants. As labor demand is smaller than labor supply, there will be labor surplus and, even worse, the labor market is moving away from its equilibrium. This raises the questions of why young people aspire to work in the government and how they react to this phenomenon.

Methodology: This research study involved a field survey which collected data from final year undergraduate students studying in the faculties of economics and business administration using a crosssectional questionnaire. The survey was conducted from June to August 2018. A descriptive analysis was employed to identify determinants of education and career decisions together with level of career readiness.

Findings: The research findings from a sample of 571 undergraduate students, majoring in economics and business administration at four public universities in 2018, revealed that the most influential factors affecting career preference are job security and prestige. As competition among government applicants increases, they seem not to be well-prepared in terms of employability skills.

Contributions: These research findings will be useful for the improvement of national policies relating to education and labor market development that aim to alleviate labor market inefficiency.

Keywords: career decision, readiness, employability skill, undergraduate, Lao PDR

Cite as: Onphanhdala, P., Philavong, V., & Sengkhamkhoutlavong, B. (2020). Career decision and readiness in undergraduate students of Lao PDR. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 5(1), 1-26.

Author Biographies

Phanhpakit Onphandala

National Institute for Economic Research, Lao PDR
Km 6, Kaisone Phomvihane Ave, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

Vanvisa Philavong

Independent Researcher, Lao PDR

Bouadam Sengkhamkhoutlavong

Asian Research Center, National University of Laos
7322, Dongdok, Vientiane, Vientiane, Laos

How to Cite
Onphandala, P., Philavong , V., & Sengkhamkhoutlavong, B. (2020). CAREER DECISION AND READINESS IN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF LAO PDR. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 5(1), 1-26.