Factors influencing the choice of academic major among studentsIntroductionThe aim of the researches of all the three journal articles (J21, J22, J23) is to recognize the key factors affecting students’ choice of major. There are many factors, but are the most influencing and crucial factors should be specified for better understanding of the topic. J21 is talking about factors affecting the choice of high tech engineering majors for university women and men in Bangladesh. The study focused on gender differences in choosing major of studies in high tech engineering. According to results, a gap in self-efficacy and socio-economic status between genders is real and may result as a destruction for women to join the industry.
J22 held the topic of the selection of a sport management major focusing on factors influencing student choice from a consumer-oriented perspective. 330 sport management students were involved in the survey of this journal to identify important factors influencing students’ choice of major. Interest in sport field and desire to work in this industry have been found to be the most influential factor, as the results have shown. Program quality and convenience occurred as important factors as well.
J23 discussed a topic of selecting a business major within the college of business. Important factors affecting students majoring accounting, finance, marketing, management, general business and MIS have been examined in the research of this journal. Study stated 37 external and internal factors. As results have shown, the most affecting factor appeared to be interest in work contrasting with interpersonal factors such as influence from family, teachers and peers. Nonetheless, the research suggested that interpersonal factors could be underestimated by previous studies. Research in J23 have shown that interesting job arises as less influential comparing to job security and job availability factors.
?Literature ReviewMany different factors influencing students’ selection of major have been found in all the three journals. One of the common factors among all the researches is influence by family (Kortlik and Harrison, 1989, Tillberg and Cohoon, 2005, Auyeung and Sands, 1995, as cited by Saifuddin, Rasouli and Dyke, 2011; Beggs, Bantham, and Taylor, 2008, Beggs et al., 2008 and Zhang, 2007, as cited by Hancock and Greenwell, 2013; Calkins ; Welki, 2006, Farley ; Staniec, Astin, 1993 as cited by Roach, McGaughy and Downey, 2012) and peers (Linder et al., 2004, as cited by Saifuddin, Rasouli and Dyke, 2011, Beggs et al., 2008, Zhang, 2007 as cited by Hancock and Greenwell, 2013, Bartol, 1976, Calkins ; Welki, 2006, Mauldin et al., 2000, as cited by Roach, McGaughy and Downey, 2012). Moreover, interest in major appeared as one of the most important factors in selection as found by Cho, Jones, ; Olsen (2008), Crampton, Walstrom, ; Schambach, (2006), Malgwi, Howe, ; Burnaby (2005), as cited by Hancock and Greenwell (2013), Adams, Pryor, ; Adams (1994), Cohen ; Hanno (1993), Coperthwaite ; Knight (1995), Malgwi, Howe, ; Burnaby, (2005), Strasser et al.
(2002), Zhang(2007) as cited by Roach, McGaughy and Downey (2012). Socio-economic factors has a great impact on students’ choice as well (Fergusson and Woodward, 2000, Tang et al., 1999, Jackson et al., 1993, as cited by Saifuddin, Rasouli and Dyke, 2011, Aldosary and Assaf, 1996, as cited by Hancock and Greenwell, 2013). Job related factors such as job availability, job security and job responsibilities play an important role in major choice for students as found by Beggs, Bantham, and Taylor (2008), as cited by Hancock and Greenwell, 2013, O’Brien ; Deans(1995), Cebula ; Lopes (1983), Kim et al. (2002), Mauldin et al.
(2000), as cited by Roach, McGaughy and Downey (2012). All in all, the researches in the journal articles share several common factors, however at the same time have different focus such as major of students studied. Moreover, gender difference is being discussed in J21 and J22.?MethodologyThe design used in all the three journal researches is quantitative.
It is the most suitable type of design for such studies as generalization from selected samples of intended population should be made which is possible using quantitative design. Moreover, quantification and analysis of the data collected is easier using this particular type. Students from different levels of university were involved in population of the three journals. The area of focus for all journals varies. For instance, J21 discussed students at High Tech Engineering major, whereas J22 is talking about students of Sport Management major.
Business major students appeared as focus area for J23 research. Furthermore, researches in journals were held in different countries. J21 came out with a sample of 885 university engineering and technology students from five universities in Bangladesh. J22 had a sample of 330 sport management and sport administration program students from 6 institutions from which 3 are private and 3 are public institutions. All public schools and one private school had a large programs with 200 and more students, one private school had a medium program with about 100 students, and other private school had a small with fewer than 50 students. The sample of J23 consisted of 433 business college students that major in 8 different disciplines, such as accounting, finance, economics, management, risk management, marketing, MIS and general business. The limitations of all three studies is major of studies of students studied and population used for research. Wider population would help to better understand the factors influencing students, results would be better generalized.
Students from other major beside HTE, business and sports should be studied as well for better results.?Results and DiscussionThe investigations in J21, J22 and J23 were directed so as to discover the persuasive elements influencing understudies’ decision of major. The main three factors in J1 were observed to be Family Influence (M=3.04 by male and M=3.08 by female), Teacher Influence (M=3.26 by male and M=3.
23 by female) and Self-Efficacy (M=4.20 by male and M=4.02 by female). In J22 has been demonstrated that Interest in Sport (M = 6.
61), Interest in Sport Management (M=6.15) and Program Quality (M=5.79) had a higher rate than different variables. While in J23 unmistakably Job Security (M=6.
12), Job Availability (M=5.96) and Interesting work (M=5.91) emerged as the most persuasive components. On the whole, the most influencing factors in each of the three diaries were observed to be intrigue, impact by others and occupation related factors, for example, work accessibility and employer stability. The intrigue assumed an essential part in real determination as occupation fulfillment just to be achieved when the individual really adores what they do. Because of this reason individuals have a tendency to pick a noteworthy of their advantage.
Besides, impact by others, for example, family and companions exceedingly influence the understudies’ decision to the reason that understudies regularly wiped out a counsel from others because of the absence of experience or because of the restrictions they are in. By and by, work related factors enormously impact understudies because of the reason that activity accessibility, for instance, propels understudies to pick the activity with higher accessibility in light of the fact that subsequent to finishing the examinations it will be less demanding for them to discover the activity. The slightest compelling component in all the three diaries was Teacher impact.
This factor isn’t viewed as persuasive to reason that educators more often than not scarcely take part in understudies life. In light of the outcomes in J21, male understudies were more impacted by the variables inquired about than female. J22, interestingly, demonstrated that female understudies were more affected by factors found than male understudies.
With a specific end goal to enhance future examinations, couple of proposals can be made. Right off the bat, I would prescribe to expand an example estimate keeping in mind the end goal to guarantee generalizability of the outcomes. It would bring a more extensive comprehension of what really impacts understudies at most. Additionally, I would prescribe to contemplate more majors, as each of the looks into in diaries considered were constrained in a particular major.
?ConclusionIn sum, the research and cross analysis of the three journals J21, J22 and J23 provided a clearer image of crucial factors affecting students’ choice of major. As the results have shown, the most influential factor was found to be interest in the field of major, followed by job availability and job security. On another hand, the least influencing factors appeared to be expected salary. This way, students’ focus while selecting a major mostly falls onto interesting job for them, ease of employment after graduation and other job characteristics. While expected salary does not play such an important role on their choice. It should be said that students prefer the job that makes them feel comfortable and interested over the level of pay.?