Original Research

Factors influencing speech language pathologists’ and audiologists’ decision to pursue postgraduate studies in South Africa

Ben Sebothoma, Khetsiwe Masuku, Nomfundo Moroe
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 68, No 1 | a796 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.796 | © 2021 Ben Sebothoma, Khetsiwe Masuku, Nomfundo Moroe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2020 | Published: 18 May 2021

About the author(s)

Ben Sebothoma, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Khetsiwe Masuku, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nomfundo Moroe, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Factors that influence various professionals to pursue postgraduate studies have been investigated. However, there is a dearth of evidence of factors that influence South African speech language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists (As) to pursue their postgraduate studies.

Objective: Therefore, this study aimed to determine factors that influence the decision of South African SLPs and As to pursue postgraduate studies and potential barriers to this pursuit.

Method: A quantitative survey research methodology with a cross-sectional research design was adopted, where a 21-item web-based survey was used to survey 127 speech therapists, As and speech therapists and As from across the country. All participants were qualified and registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Ethical clearance and permission from relevant stakeholders were obtained. Data were analysed descriptively.

Results: The findings suggested that over half of the participants pursued their postgraduate studies to fulfil a personal goal and improve their knowledge, whilst others did it to develop expertise and for job opportunities. Participants highlighted that a lack of time and funding, heavy workloads and bad experiences during their undergraduate studies were the main barriers to pursuing postgraduate studies. Whilst community service was not a barrier per se, participants felt that it delayed them from beginning their postgraduate studies immediately.

Conclusion: The findings of this study highlighted the urgent need for institutions of higher learning, government and other stakeholders to provide the necessary support for SLPs and As in South Africa to pursue postgraduate studies.


Keywords

speech language pathologist; audiologist; influencing factors; postgraduate studies; postgraduate degree; South Africa

Metrics

Total abstract views: 298
Total article views: 326


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.