What Influences Your Choice of Education? A Thesis about the Influence of Framing on the Choice of Education

Caroline Beguin & Anne-Sofie Kleemann

Student thesis: Master thesis


The need for more young people to choose vocational educations is increasing due to a massive lack of skilled workers, which can become costly for the Danish society. Despite of various initiatives from the government and communication campaigns attempting to draw more young people to the vocational educations as well as improving the attractiveness of these, progression is absent. In the choice of education, parents are identified as the primary influencer, that through their guidance can make the young people create specific ideas and attitudes towards the different educations. This leads us to the following research question:
How does framing of vocational educations affect the image of vocational educations, and in what way does it influence parents when giving advice to their children in connection with the choice of education?
This thesis builds on a theoretical framework within the fields of agenda-setting, framing, and image. These are used to analyse how news media and campaigns frame vocational educations, and how the framing affects the image of these educations, as well as the effect it has on parents when they advise their children in the choice of education. The methodology is based on a mixed methods approach including a content analysis of news media, a thematic analysis of campaigns, and in-depth interviews with parents as well as informants that carry knowledge in the field of vocational educations.
The main findings show that vocational educations are framed predominantly in a positive manner by the news media and campaigns. However, the framing of the news media comes across with a highly mixed tone. Combined, the primary aspects that are framed represent the possibilities for further education, the educational level, and the social environment in relation to vocational educations. Moreover, we conclude that parents only to a lesser degree have let the framing affect their perception of different aspects of vocational educations. We find two tendencies among the parents: they are either unknowledgeable about vocational educations, or else they have a negative perception of these. We find that the latter tendency might be caused by the news media’s mixed framing. In conclusion, a gap exists between how vocational educations are framed and how they are conceived by parents. Furthermore, the varied framing in the news media is misaligned with the desired attractiveness of vocational educations. We conclude that the news media’s framing affects the general negative perception among parents and the poor image belonging to vocational educations. Our findings lead to the recommendation of including parents in a higher degree in the planning of communication, as well as building a better relationship to the news media in order to ensure, that they communicate in a favourable manner that supports the communication objective.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages399