Exploring Self-Perceived Employability and Ambition of Student Veterans in a Higher Education Institution in the United States



Student veterans, perceived employability, ambition, career success, career assessment, higher education


In this study, we explore the perceived employability and ambition of student veterans, compare the perceived employability and ambition of student veterans and civilian students, and examine the impact of other variables (e.g., age, gender, GPA, etc.) on student veterans’ perceived employability and ambition. An online survey was conducted among 85 students, including 37 veterans and 48 civilian students. The results show that most of the investigated student veterans were confident in their employability and future career success. In addition, student veterans had slightly lower perceived employability and ambition than either active military members or civilian students. The result of descriptive analysis showed clues that explained how other variables impacted the perceived employability and ambition of student veterans.


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Author Biographies

Yuanlu Niu, University of Arkansas

YUANLU NIU, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Human Resource and Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas in the United States. Her research focuses on lookism in the workplace, career development, human resource development, women’s studies, and workforce diversity. Email: yn005@uark.edu

Yidan Zhu, Texas State University

YIDAN ZHU, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology at Texas State University in the United States. Her research addresses three focal areas: 1) adult learning in multicultural contexts; 2) professional learning and health professions education; and 3) aging and adult education. Email: yidan.zhu@txstate.edu

Xu Xu, Henderson State University

XU XU, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Economics and Data Analytics at the School of Business at Henderson State University in the United States. Her research examines the flow of people, which includes international migration as well as international tourism, and specifically, her work empirically measures the determinants of such cross-border movement and studies how factors such as the exchange of information affect the flow. Email: xux@hsu.edu

Yvonne Hunter-Johnson, Southern Illinois University

YVONNE HUNTER-JOHNSON holds a PhD in Adult Education with emphasis on Human Resource Development and Research and Evaluation from University of South Florida. She also holds a Master of Art in Professional Management with emphasis on human resource management. She is a certified business teacher (K-12). Currently, she is an Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) in the Department of Workforce Education and Development. As a faculty member at SIU, she teaches in the fields of workforce education, human resource development, human resource management, and adult education. As a scholar and educator, she has presented research-based papers in over 10 states and internationally. She has also published a multiplicity of articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. Dr. Hunter-Johnson’s research interests include (a) adult learners and learning (veterans and international students), (b) career transition (veteran and international students), (c) transfer of training, (d) learning organizations, (e) motivation to learn, and (f) employability and support systems in higher education. Email: Yvonne.hunter-johnson@siu.edu


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Niu, Y., Zhu, Y., Xu, X., & Hunter-Johnson, Y. (2022). Exploring Self-Perceived Employability and Ambition of Student Veterans in a Higher Education Institution in the United States. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 11(2), 73–94. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/4528