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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046

Abstract

SEBOTHOMA, Ben; MASUKU, Khetsiwe  and  MOROE, Nomfundo. Factors influencing speech language pathologists' and audiologists' decision to pursue postgraduate studies in South Africa. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2021, vol.68, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 2225-4765.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.796.

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 studiesOBJECTIVE: 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 pursuitMETHOD: 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 descriptivelyRESULTS: 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 immediatelyCONCLUSION: 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.

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