Background: In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation of the issues of career preference in dentistry. But there is a little knowledge about the future aspirations and career perspective among dental students pursuing graduation.
Objectives: This study was carried out to investigate the career preferences of students in dental colleges of Haryana and to determine the factors that might influence their career decisions.
Methods: This cross sectional observational study was conducted among 644 students from 6 dental colleges in Haryana. Participants were chosen randomly after obtaining permission from the administration of the respective colleges. A close-ended questionnaire was administered and the data was analyzed using SPSS version 19.0.
Results: Out of total subjects, 76.40% were willing to opt for a master\'s degree in the field of dentistry. Oral surgery was the most preferred choice (35.77%) and paedodontics was the subject of least preference (0.81%). Personal interest in the subject was the most common reason associated with the choice of speciality. The reason least chosen as a factor for determining the future specialization choice was easiness of the subject.
Conclusions: Our study revealed that the most preferred speciality was oral surgery followed by orthodontics and endodontics. A variety of factors appear to inspire dental students to choose a dental speciality. Further research work needs to be done to find out the changing nature of perceptions regarding future specializations and unidentified factors impact on graduates\' career preferences in the field of dentistry.
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