Original Research

Illustrating school-to-work transition through drawings: An exploratory study with a sample of South African students

Tinashe Harry, Willie T. Chinyamurindi
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1272 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1272 | © 2020 Tinashe Harry, Willie T. Chinyamurindi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 August 2019 | Published: 03 September 2020

About the author(s)

Tinashe Harry, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa

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Orientation: Unemployment is a matter of great concern within the South African context.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of students who are in preparation to enter the labour market, to generate data about students’ experiences of being unemployed and to explore the usefulness of diagrams as a data generation tool in exploring such experiences.

Motivation for the study: There is need to understand transition experiences of unemployed youths in South Africa and the basis for making interventions.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research approach utilising a participatory research design technique was used.

Main findings: Three main drawings are illustrated that express students’ concern regarding this transition. These drawings heighten the focus on (1) individual evaluation of students as they make the transition, (2) evaluation of the university enrolment experience and (3) students’ concern about their future, albeit the high unemployment rate in South Africa.

Managerial/practical implications: Through the reflections from the drawings, suggestions are made to assist researchers, career counsellors and students.

Contribution/value-addition: This article contributes to the literature on the use and need of using the visual methodology as a part of data generation, especially when working with vulnerable students.


drawings; career; unemployment; students; participatory visual method


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