n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Exploring sociodemographic differences in career maturity in the South African military

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The military environment poses unique challenges regarding the career development of individuals. The challenge is to create career development practices that address the needs of culturally diverse staff members in the military environment. The objective of the study was to explore broad trends regarding how staff in the South African military differed with regard to their level of career maturity (measured by the Career Development Questionnaire). Sociodemographic variables included gender, race, age, educational level, arm of service, rank and mustering group. A quantitative survey was conducted on a non-probability sample of 333 military officers from the South African National Defence Force across the four arms of service (the South African Army, the South African Air Force, the South African Navy and the South African Military Health Services). Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses revealed significant differences among the sample of military officers in terms of a number of sociodemographic variables relating to their career maturity. The findings highlight the need to consider demographic and context-specific variables when designing and implementing career development practices in military organisations.

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