ERIC Number: ED188656
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jul-27
Reference Count: 0
Factors Influencing Choice of Technical Careers by Women and Minorities.
Alden, Elaine F.; Seiferth, Berniece B.
According to recent studies, occupational sexism is as common today as it was at the turn of the century. A major cause may be long-standing stereotypes of role expectation, which teach students that many economic and social roles are differentiated by gender alone. In order to determine those factors most influential in career decision-making, a questionnaire was administered to 1470 students at 16 Illinois community colleges. Of the respondents, 58.9% were from urban or suburban areas and 42.1% from a rural area or small town; 53.4% were under 21 years of age; 65.6% had been in the upper half of their high school class; and 79.7% were White. Of the technical majors, 59.7% were Males and 78.6% were White. TJhe majority of the respondents had acquaintances in their chosen career field, and high percentages of the White and Male sub-groups had role models of their sex and race. When asked to classify occupations as male/female or white/minority, respondents tended to classify few occupations along racial lines, but many according to sex. When asked to rank order persons having the most influence on their career choice, the total population and most of the sub-groups ranked Parents as the most influential, followed by Friends/Classmates, Teachers, Counselors, and Siblings. As expected, Whites and Males preferred vocational courses to a greater extent than Females and Non-whites. The implications of these findings for community colleges are discussed. (AYC)
Descriptors: Age, Career Choice, Community Colleges, Family Influence, Females, Males, Minority Groups, Nontraditional Occupations, Parent Influence, Peer Influence, Role Models, Sex Bias, Sex Role, Social Influences, Teacher Influence, Technical Occupations, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education, White Students
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group for Community/Junior College Research, North Central States (9th, Ann Arbor, MI, July 27, 1979).