Thursday, February 25, 2016

Literature Review Blog # 1

Title: Influences on Students’ Choice of College Major

Citation: Malgwi, Charles A., Martha A. Howe, and Priscilla A. Burnaby. "Influences On Students' Choice Of College Major." Journal Of Education For Business 80.5 (2005): 275-282. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

Authors: Charles A. Malgwi, Martha A. Howe, Priscilla A. Burnaby

Senior Lecturer, Bentley University 
Dr. Malgwi received his Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Reading, England, United Kingdom. He has a multitude of other degrees including an MBA, an M.Sc. in Accounting & Finance, and Professional Diploma in Accounting, to name a few. This impressive scholar joined the faculty of Bentley University in 1998 as an accounting professor, where he participated in various research studies in his later years. He has presented numerous research papers at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr.Malgwi has also published in many reputable journals such as the Journal of Forensic Accounting and the International Journal of Accounting. He is now a faculty adviser of the Bentley University Student Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Students Association. Dr.Malgwi is knowledgeable in a variety of fields and has thoroughly researched topics in higher education, making him a reputable source to reference in my paper.  

Article Summary
    “Influences on Students’ Choice of College Major “ aims to identify what factors influence the major choices of incoming freshman at universities. This study was specifically done at a large business school. At first glance, the study aimed to identify positive and negative factors influencing incoming freshmen’s major choices, and what factors contributed to potential changes in major choices. As the study went on though, researchers began to see specific trends in regard to gender. Results of the research demonstrated a divergence between men and women, and the factors influencing their choices. Initially, both male and female freshmen chose majors based on genuine interest.
    “In relation to choice of major made by incoming students, our findings are generally consistent with those of earlier research. For both genders, interest in the subject is the primary influence.” (page 278)
But after their first years, men became much more directed by career opportunities and potential income levels in their academic major choices. The study goes on to show that men began to choose majors based on which careers would allow the most potential for career advancement.
“...we found statistically significant differences in the relative influence of level of pay in the field, the potential for career advancement, and the potential job opportunities, with men finding those factors more important than women did.” (page 277)
“Women were strongly influenced by their aptitude in the field and men significantly less so…” (page 279)
This article is perfect in shedding light upon not only the gender trends in major choices, (i.e.which majors are predominantly male vs. female), but the driving factors at the root of those trends. What factors motivate men and women in different ways and what factors direct them more towards certain academic disciplines and later career paths. This article will be highly beneficial to my final essay.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be curious if anything has changed since 2005, especially with the huge run-up in tuition and student debt since then. It is interesting, though, that men are less likely to be driven just by genuine interest in the field...

    BTW: Thinking about the "Educated in Romance" thesis, there is an article today in the NY Times that suggests higher class women tend to have marriages of equals and to pursue higher paying careers than women in the past.

    They suggest that this tendency exacerbates the class divide, as women in lower-middle households may still subscribe to the old model. That seems to fit with what Armstrong and Hamilton found.