To what degree does the use of social media, in general, and social networks, in particular, contribute to a drop in unemployment rates among graduates if applying the measurement based on changes in the number and percentage of people that get their jobs, as well as the time taken to find a position in an organization?
There is a linear relationship between the levels of proactiveness in social media communication among graduates with Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. degrees, and their opportunities for further employment, which can be justified by a direct correlation between the variables.
Quantitative Methodological Design
In order to determine the degree to which networking affects employment rates and the number of employment opportunities among people with degrees, one will have to carry out a quantitative analysis of the available data. Thus, the correlation between the variables under analysis will be established, if any. Hence, the application of a quantitative methodology approach is crucial (Domínguez & Hollstein, 2014).
As far as the design of the study is concerned, it is desirable to use the correlational quantitative research design. Seeing that there is a pressing need to determine whether the variables in question (i.e., networking and the opportunities for people with scholarly degrees to get a job) are dependent on each other in some way, it is crucial to apply the correlational analysis. Indeed, by its design, it is supposed to help identify the relationships between the specified variables (Creswell, 2013).
Rationale: Reasons for the Choice
As stressed above, the opportunities for tracking down the existing links between the dependent and independent variables represented in the research should be viewed as the essential factor for choosing the correlational design as the basis for conducting the study. By applying the specified approach to determine the existence of any connection between the employment levels among people with an academic degree and their ability to use modern social media as the means of communicating successfully, one can isolate the patterns and figure out whether the two variables have anything in common. Consequently, the use of the identified approach should be viewed as the necessary step toward proving the research hypothesis either right or wrong (Creswell, 2013).
Sampling: Facilitating the Credibility of the Outcomes
The systematic sampling approach will be used as the primary means of retrieving the samples necessary for the research. Particularly, it will be necessary to classify the participant based on the industry in which they operate, the level of their proficiency, their personal background (e.g., urban/rural setting), etc. As a result, the opportunity for receiving credible results that will represent the community in a very accurate manner will become a possibility (Oakshott, 2014).
Seeing that the choice of the sampling strategy defines the credibility of the research findings to a considerable degree, the process of choosing the framework must be approached with due care. The sample must represent the community; thus, given the high diversity levels in the specified environment, one must adopt the systematic sampling technique as the tool allowing receiving randomized data. Indeed, the systematic sampling framework will allow avoiding the threat of gathering the data that deviates significantly from the average.
As explained above, the community in question can be defined as rather diverse. Therefore, the sampling frame will have to reflect the multicultural characteristics of the participants. Ethnic and gender-related differences between the people involved in the study should be listed among the aspects of the sampling frame. Additionally, the social background of the participants, e.g., their belonging to the urban or rural population, their being in the middle-, high-, or low-class category, etc., will have to be taken into account as a part of the research. However, the focus on the people with college or university degrees, searching for employment options, is the primary sampling frame (Swift & Piff, 2014).
However, apart from fitting the profile created with the help of the sampling frame, the people that will participate in the research will have to meet the eligibility criteria. First and most obvious, the participants will have to be of legal age. They must be graduates from a college or a university with a Bachelor, Master, Ph.D., or any other academic degree. Finally, the future participants of the study must not have any previous work experience outside of their university- or college-related practice. Finally, the people who will take part in the study will have to be able to sign the informed consent sheet indicating that they are fully accountable for their actions and responsible for their choices as far as the participation in the research is concerned.
The confidence level of the research is roughly 95%. The estimated margin of error, in its turn, is approximately 2.5%. Given the fact that the population size is going to estimate about 200 people, it will be necessary to use the sample size of 177 people (Parahoo, 2014). Thus, the credibility of the outcomes will remain high.
Instruments for Measuring the Variables
Dependent and Independent Variables and Instrument Description
The key independent variable, which is the extent of the subjects’ participation in the social media, will be measured based on the number of social contacts that they have, as well as the frequency of communication with them. At this point, one may need to clarify that the number of social contacts alone does not define the research subject’s active participation in the life of the online community. Apart from the number of people with which the target population interacts, the frequency of their conversations will have to be registered.
In order to determine the participants’ level of proficiency and the competence degree, one will have to consider their GPA. Thus, the prerequisites for an all-embracive comparison can be created. Seeing that the identified tool serves as the perfect means of determining the extent of the participants’ knowledge and grasp of a specific issue that they deem as their major, it can be viewed as a decent measurement tool (Blitch, Stombaugh, & Brown, 2015).
As far as the dependent variable is concerned, it can be suggested that the statistical data regarding the time that the participants spent unemployed, as well as the number of companies that rejected them on account of their lack of experience, will have to be incorporated into the study. Thus, a full picture will be obtained so that the outcomes of social interaction with the online community and the effects of networking could be determined in an unbiased and efficient manner.
The validity of the measurement tool mentioned above is considerably high since it helps predict the results that are to be retrieved based on an external criterion, i.e., the participants’ ability to network and establish strong contacts in the environment of social media. Seeing that variability is a prerequisite to validity, it can be assumed that the measurement tools are rather valid as the means of determining the correlation between the introduction of social media into people’s lives and the opportunities that job applicants with degrees have when searching for a job. Finally, as far as the third psychometric property, responsiveness, is concerned, one must give the tests credit for their sensitivity to changes (Zumbo & Chan, 2014).
Data Collection Procedures
Recruiting Participants: Online Invitations and Flyers
The process of recruiting the people who will participate in the research will include using mostly digital tools. Particularly, the opportunities that social media and e-mail notifications have to offer will be used as the means of attracting the attention of prospective research subjects. Online invitations will be sent to the people that will be chosen to represent the target community.
Furthermore, flyers will be offered to the community members. As a result, the changes for embracing every single category of the target population will be created. The identified approach will allow reducing the number of biases in the specified research. Consequently, the outcomes of the study will be generalizable and applicable to any cultural, ethnic, or any other type of setting.
Instructions Provided on Arrival
Before the study commences, the participants will be instructed to act naturally and focus on displaying the communication patterns that they typically assume in the environment of social networks. Furthermore, before the study starts, the prospective subjects of the research will have to sign informed consents indicating that they are fully aware of the goals of the study, as well as the fact that the information retrieved in its course will be published in the article. It should be noted, though, that the current study seeks to safeguard the participants’ personal data. In other words, the policy of non-disclosure will be followed rigidly.
Follow-up Type: Research Protocols
Research protocols will be used as the follow-up for the study. Offering the essential information and conclusion in a concise and accurate form, they will help shed more light on the issue. Therefore, research protocols should be deemed as the perfect follow-up tool (Salazar, Crosby, & DiClemente, 2015).
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Blitch, D. W., Stombaugh, H., & Brown, M. (2015). Collective value, collective power: one- and four-year comparative analyses of national grant: Professionals impact survey data. Journal of the Grant Professionals Association, 13(1), 75-88.
Domínguez, S., & Hollstein, B. (2014). Mixed methods social networks research: Design and applications. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Oakshott, L. (2014). Quantitative methods. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research: principles, process and issues. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Salazar, L. F., Crosby, R. A., & DiClemente, R. J. (2015). Research methods in health promotion. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Swift, L., & Piff, S. (2014). Quantitative methods for business, management and finance. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Zumbo, B. D., & Chan, E. H. (2014). Validity and validation in social, behavioral, and health sciences. New York, NY: Springer.