How do college students select their majors
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How Do College Students Select Their Majors?. Group 4: Tara M Bellofatto Jessica Collins Gergana Galiatsatos Vitaliy Konev Tom C Vogdes. Data Collection. Population All current and former students Ages 17 to any age All genders All ethnicities All social statuses

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How do college students select their majors

How Do College Students Select Their Majors?

Group 4:

Tara M Bellofatto

Jessica Collins

Gergana Galiatsatos

Vitaliy Konev

Tom C Vogdes


Data collection
Data Collection

  • Population

    • All current and former students

    • Ages 17 to any age

    • All genders

    • All ethnicities

    • All social statuses

    • All marital statuses


Data collection1
Data Collection

  • Method – Survey

    • Part 1: General Information

      • Gender

      • Age (18 and below/ 19-21 / above 21)

      • Ethnicity

      • Social Class (working/middle/upper)

      • Marital Status

      • Have you changed your major?


Data collection2
Data Collection

  • Survey

    • Part 2: Major Selection Factors (12)

      • Future income;

      • Interest in the field;

      • Ease of study;

      • Following your role model;

      • High school influence;

      • Random selection, etc.

        Rank the influence of each factor on selection of his/her major, from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)


Data collection3
Data Collection

  • Our Sample - 62 people :

    • 98% current students (from 3 different colleges)

    • 63% females

    • 56% age 19-21

    • 68% whites

    • 87% middle class

    • 95% singles

    • 63% never changed their major


Analysis
Analysis

  • For the whole sample:

    • Top 3 factors (most influence):

      • Interest in the field

      • Job availability

      • Future income

    • Bottom 3 factors (least influence):

      • Friends’ influence

      • Random selection

      • Appropriate for my gender



Analysis age
Analysis - Age

  • Top 3 factors for 18 and below:

    • Interest in the field

    • Future income

    • Challenge of course material

  • Top 3 factors for above 21:

    • Interest in the field

    • Job availability

    • Future income



Analysis age2
Analysis - Age

  • Younger students (18 and below):

    • focus more on course material and studying;

    • don’t think about future jobs yet;

    • desire financial independence;

      Reason: most of them still live with their parents and financially depend on them.

  • Older students (above 21):

    • realize importance of the job availability factor;

      Reasons:  depend on their parents much less;

       had Co-ops and have part time jobs now.


Analysis gender
Analysis - Gender

  • Top 3 factors for males:

    • Interest in the field

    • Future income

    • Job availability

  • Top 3 factors for females:

    • Interest in the field

    • Job availability

    • Future income



Analysis gender2
Analysis - Gender

  • Males chose future income because:

    • of their role as the provider

    • thought of as the “bread winners”

    • have been socialized into a more dominant role

  • Females chose job availability because:

    • need for job security

    • resistance entering into highly demanding, aggressive careers


Analysis ethnicity
Analysis - Ethnicity

  • Top 3 factors for Whites & Asians:

    • Interest in the field

    • Future income

    • Job availability

  • Top 3 factors for African Americans:

    • Interest in the field

    • Job availability

    • High school influence



Analysis ethnicity2
Analysis - Ethnicity

  • African Americans have defined high school influence as a very important factor:

    • They don’t have the same resources as other ethnic groups;

    • Rely on scholarships earned during high school years.

  • Asians ignore ease of study factor:

    • Particular interest in challenging majors like Physics, Statistics, etc.

    • Asian culture emphasizes importance of high achievement and challenge


Analysis social status
Analysis – Social Status

  • Top 3 factors for Middle & Upper Class:

    • Interest in the field

    • Job availability

    • Future income

  • Top 3 factors for Working Class:

    • Job availability

    • Interest in the field

    • Future income



Analysis social status2
Analysis – Social Status

  • Upper class:

    • wishes to maintain their high social status

  • Middle class:

    • have the option of choosing between different jobs offers

    • aiming for higher status

  • Working class:

    • the only group in our sample who selected job availability as most important factor

    • need to be able to go to work immediately to support oneself or family


Analysis change of major
Analysis – Change of Major

  • Top 3 factors for YES (changed major):

    • Interest in the field

    • Future income

    • Job availability

  • Top 3 factors for NO (did not change major):

    • Interest in the field

    • Job availability

    • Future income



Analysis change of major2
Analysis – Change of Major

  • Students who DID change their majors:

    • Are more concerned about their future income

    • Less interested in actual jobs

  • Students who DIDNOT change their majors:

    • are more interested in their major field;

    • are more intrigued by future job opportunities


Further testing
Further Testing

  • Larger sample:

    • More people;

    • More colleges;

    • Randomness of sample

  • Different survey:

    • Focus on specific hypothesis;

    • Use on-line survey


Further testing1
Further Testing

  • Interviews:

    • To get qualitative data

    • More details

    • Students as well as professionals involved in college decision process

  • Secondary analysis:

    • Reference past research for further comparison



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