ERIC Number: ED026955
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Reference Count: 0
Career Decisions of Talented Youth: Trends Over the Past Decade.
Watley, Donivan J.; Nichols, Robert C.
The prospective major fields of study and career plans of National Merit Finalists are recorded on the scholarship application forms submitted during the students' senior year in high school. (Finalists are selected from the top 1% in measured scholastic ability.) A study of the answers given from 1957-67 indicates that interest among boys in the physical sciences increased immediately after Sputnik but declined until about 1963 when it stabilized. Interest in the social sciences declined in 1958 and 1959 but increased until 1965 and has declined slightly since then. The choice of engineering decreased sharply after 1957 but began to stabilize about 1962 and has been relatively steady since. Interest in teaching increased among both sexes until about 1962 when girls, but not boys, began to show a declining interest. Business and other practical fields have shown steady declines, the reverse of a rising trend of interest in the humanities. The trends seem to reflect genuine changes rather than chance fluctuations. They are statistically significant and many have persisted for several years. If these educational major and career decisions are considered representative of all students in the top 1% , many of the temporal shifts observed are large enough to have a marked effect on the availability of talent for certain fields. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Merit Scholarship Corp., Evanston, IL.
Identifiers: National Merit Scholars