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Intended Majors and Career Interests: Men and Women Really Are from Different Planets Debra FitzGerald Senior Consultant, Client Outreach ACT Midwest Region Tim Osborn Senior Consultant, Program Solutions ACT Midwest Region

Intended Majors and Career Interests: Men and Women Really Are from Different Planets

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Intended Majors and Career Interests: Men and Women Really Are from Different Planets. Debra FitzGerald Senior Consultant, Client Outreach ACT Midwest Region Tim Osborn Senior Consultant, Program Solutions ACT Midwest Region. Expressed and Measured Interests. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Intended Majors and Career Interests: Men and Women Really Are from Different Planets

  • Intended Majors and Career Interests: Men and Women Really Are from Different PlanetsDebra FitzGeraldSenior Consultant, Client OutreachACT Midwest Region

    Tim OsbornSenior Consultant, Program SolutionsACT Midwest Region

  • Expressed and Measured InterestsWith respect to intended majors and careers, ACT collects two types of information:Expressed Interests:When students register for the ACT they are asked to specify an intended major (from a choice of 295) and an occupational choice (from the same list of 295).

    Measured Interests:When students register for the ACT they are asked to complete a 72 item Interest Inventory that diagnoses their career interest and places the students interests on the ACT World of Work Map.

  • Goals of the PresentationDuring the presentation we will look at differences in expressed and measured major and career interests between men and womenWe will also look at how the gender differences correlate to student preferences for 4-year public and 4-year private institutions

  • Intended Majors by Male/Female Ratio and ACT Composite Score BandsThe first table shows majors where male and female interest is strongestRed: females more than 50% more likely to have this intended majorGreen: males more than 50% more likely to have this intended majorFor convenience of reporting, the 295 individual majors are rolled up into 18 groupings of similar majors

  • Intended Major by Female/Male Ratio and ACT Composite Score Band

  • Intended Majors by FrequencyThe next two tables show intended majors by frequency and ACT Composite Score bandsThe percents are the comparative frequency within each score band (total N = 1,540,876)The second table also shows majors where male and female interest is strongestLight Red: females more than 50% more likely to have this intended majorLight Green: males more than 50% more likely to have this intended major

  • Intended Major by Column Frequency and ACT Composite Score BandRed: >9%Green:
  • Intended Major by Column Frequency and ACT Composite Score Band & Strong Male/Female Interest

  • ACT Composite Scores by GenderThe next chart shows the percentage of men and women whose ACT Composite score falls in particular ability bandsMore women than men test in totalMen are over-represented at the highest and lowest score bandsWomen are over-represented at the middle ability levelsThus, the ability bands with the most total tested students (ACT 16-24) have the largest gap between male and female testers: 10-13%.

  • ACT Composite by Gender and Ability Band

  • Intended Majors by 4-yr Public/Private Ratio and ACT Composite Score BandsThe next table shows majors by preferred institution typeRed: greater than a ratio of 1, 4-yr private more likely to have this intended majorGreen: less than a ratio of 1, 4-yr public more likely to have this intended major

  • Intended Major by 4-year Priv/4-year Pub Ratio and ACT Comp. Score Band

  • Correlations by Gender and Institution Type PreferenceMajority Male and 4-yr PublicAgric. & Natural Res Conservation (ACT 1-27)Architecture (ACT 1-32)Computer Science & MathEngineeringEngineering Technology & DraftingRepair, Production & ConstructionUndecided (ACT 1-27)

  • Correlations by Gender and Institution Type PreferenceMajority Female and 4-yr PublicAgric. & Natural Res Conservation (ACT 28-36)Architecture (ACT 33-36)Communications (ACT 33-36)Community, Family & Personal ServicesEducation (ACT 24-26)Health Administration & Assisting (ACT 1-32)Health Sciences & Technologies

  • Correlations by Gender and Institution Type PreferenceMajority Male and 4-yr PrivateArea, Ethnic & Multidisciplinary (ACT 1-15; 20-23)Arts: Visual & Performing (ACT 1-15)Business (strong male; slightly more private)Communications (ACT 1-15)Philosophy, Religion & Theology

  • Correlations by Gender and Institution Type PreferenceMajority Female and 4-yr PrivateArea, Ethnic & Multidisciplinary (ACT 16-19; 24-36)Arts: Visual and Performing (ACT 16-36)Communications (ACT 16-32)Education (ACT 1-23)English & Foreign LanguagesSciences: Biological & PhysicalSocial Sciences & LawUndecided (ACT 28-36)

  • Intended Major by Frequency and ACT Composite Score BandThe table on the next slide shows how student interest in intended major changes as ability level rises.The columns labeled 1-15 and 33-36 show the relative rank from 1 to 18 of student interest in the majors in that groupingThe column labeled Trend 1-36 shows how the ranks change from 1-15 to 33-36 and are sorted to show the groups that gain the most in frequency rankYou will note that the groups of majors that gain the most are the most math-intensive and reading-intensive

  • Intended Major by Frequency Rank and ACT Composite Score Band

  • ACT Interest Inventory andWorld of Work MapThe next part of the presentation shows data for the ACT Interest Inventory and World of Work Map RegionsGender differences are highlighted as are differences among students preferring to attend 4-year public and 4-year private institutions

  • ACT World of Work Map

  • The ACT Interest Inventory measures six major types of interest. The six standard scores and percentile ranks are based on a nationally representative sample of grade12 students.

    On the World-of-Work Map, region indicators help the student relate work activity preferences, as assessed by the ACT Interest Inventory, to groups of occupations. The World-of-Work Map appears on the back of the College Report.

  • Educational and Vocational PlansA major and first vocational choice, selected by the student from an extensive list of educational majors and vocational choices - VERY SURE, FAIRLY SURE, or NOT SURE.

    Student's ultimate degree objective from among the following:BUS/TECH CERTIFICATEvocational/technical or certificate program ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE (2 YR)two-year college degree BACHELOR'S DEGREE (4 YR)bachelor's degree program GRAD STUDY/MASTER'S LEVELone or two years of graduate study (MA, MBA, etc.) DOCTORATE/PROF DEGREEprofessional level degree (PhD, MD, JD, etc.) OTHER

  • Interest Inventory by Male/Female Ratio and ACT Comp. Score BandsThe next table shows Map Regions where male and female interest is strongestRed: females more than 50% more likely to be in this Map RegionGreen: males more than 50% more likely to be in this Map Region

  • Interest Inventory by Female/Male Ratio and ACT Composite Score Band

  • Selected Careers in Map Regions where Female Interest is Strongest: People & Ideas; People & DataMap Region 1 (ACT 1-15)Human resources management & trainingMap Region 2 (1-15)Marketing & salesMap Region 9 (ACT 16-23)Medical technologiesMap Region 10Applied arts (visual); medical diagnosis & treatment; social scienceMap Region 11Applied arts (written & spoken); creative & performing artsMap Region 12Community services; education; health care

  • Selected Careers in Map Regions where Male Interest is Strongest: Data & Things; (Things & Ideas)Map Region 4 (ACT 1-23)Financial transactions; communications & recordsMap Region 5 (1-27)Distribution & dispatchingMap Region 6 Ag/forestry & related; transport operation & related; computer/info specialtiesMap Region 7 (ACT 24-32)Construction & maintenance; mechanical & electrical specialties; crafts & related; manufacturing & processing

  • Map Regions by 4-yr Public/Private Colleges Ratio and ACT Composite Score BandsThe next table shows Map Regions by preferred institution typeRed: greater than a ratio of 1, 4-yr private more likely to be in this Map Region

    Green: less than a ratio of 1, 4-yr public more likely to be in this Map Region

  • Interest Inventory by 4-year Priv/4-year Pub Ratio and ACT Comp. Score Band

  • Map Regions by FrequencyThe next three tables shows Map Regions by frequency and ACT Composite Score bandsThe percents listed are the comparative frequency within each score band (total N = 1,375,273)The tables also show Map Regions where male and female interest is strongest (also 2-yr)Red: >9% of students in an ability bandGreen:
  • Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT Composite Score BandFemale StudentsRed: >9%Green:
  • Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT Composite Score BandMale StudentsRed: >9%Green:
  • Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT Composite Score Band2-Yr Public StudentsRed: >9%Green:
  • Summary of Data on Measured & Expressed Interests & Preferred Inst. Type

  • ConclusionsMale and female students have clearly different patterns of intended majors and Interest Inventory Map RegionsAs ability levels rise, students choose intended majors that are more math & reading intensiveOn the Interest Inventory, female students predominant in the two people areas: people and ideas & people and dataOn the Interest Inventory, male students predominant in the two things areas: data and things & things and ideas

  • Conclusions (continued)Students preferring 4-yr publics are predominant in Map Regions 3-7 (data and things)Students preferring 4-yr privates are predominant in Map Regions 8-2 (ideas and people)The differences between 4-yr public and private not as strong as differences between male and female

  • ImplicationsStudents choosing selective public and private universities seem to have intended majors and interests that fit mission of those schools

    Students choosing regional publics and 2-yr publics seem to have intended majors and interests that fit mission of those schools

  • Implications (continued)What about non-selective liberal arts colleges, especially those looking for more men?

    There may be potential mismatches between ability level of enrolled students and interest in liberal arts areas

    Male students at middle and lower ability levels more tuned to 4-yr public and less tuned to liberal arts majors

    Non-selective privates may enroll more students primarily choosing institution for non-academic reasons: involvement in athletics, other activities, environment, small classes, academic support, etc.

  • A Word about the Relationship between Ability, Majors, and Interest InventoryACT calculates a Fit Index to measure the congruence between intended major and Interest Inventory ScoresStudents at lower ability levels have less congruence than students at higher ability levelsPut differently, higher ability students may be making more thoughtful and appropriate choices

  • Beginning in September 2012, ACT will begin appending 5 new data elements to the ACT Score Report:Interest-Major Fit score Four predictive modeling indexesMajor Enhancement to the ACT Electronic Record

  • The Fit score shows the strength of the relationship between a students profile of interests and the profile of interests of students in a given major. Interest-major fit clearly benefits both students and the college they attend: students in good-fit majors are more likely to stay in college, stay in their major and finish sooner. The Interest-Major Fit Index

  • Predicting Enrollment Behavior with Four Indexes The Mobility Index predicts the likelihood of a student enrolling at an out-of-state institutionThe Institution Type Index predicts the likelihood of a student enrolling at a private institutionThe Selectivity Index predicts the selectivity of the institution at which the student is likely to enrollThe Institution Size Index predicts the size of the institution at which the student is likely to enroll

  • Variables Included in the Four Indexes

    Academic VariablesDemographic VariablesACT CompositeHome community sizeHigh school GPAHigh school enrollmentYears of foreign languageType of high schoolProgram of study in HSEnrollment Preference VariablesYears of math courseworkCampus mix (score sending pattern)Highest degree expectedLevel of college choiceStudent Characteristic VariablesPreferred college sizePlanned work hours in collegePreferred college typeFamily incomeIntended major (7 groups)Involvement in science Preferred distance home to campusInvolvement in athletics No college in mindInvolvement in musicScores sent to comm. college

  • This data can of benefit to Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions

    Fit indexSize of institutionPublic vs PrivateIn-state/out-of-stateCostMajor

    Best use of time is to make sure students make informed decisionsMake sure students Ability, Career Goals, Expectations and Background are in focus

    *Intended Majors - 1.5 MillionInterest Inventory - 1.3 Million

    295 Majors (same list as career) housed in 18 different career areasThere are 12 items per scale and a three choice response format (like, dislike, indifferent ) is used. Items emphasize work-relevant activities (e.g., sketch and draw pictures, build a picture frame, help settle an argument between friends) that are familiar to people, either through participation or observation (firsthand orvicarious)If the two are close in range - informed decisionIf the two are far apart opens it up for discussion

    Data/Ideas/People/ThingsUNIACT was introduced in 1977, with subsequent editions introduced in 1989 and 2004

    **************Traditional Liberal Arts College**Recruit differently by abilityNot same messaging

    Top major on for both ability groups UndecidedLow ability - how can you support studenthelping him/her to end goalHigh ability - already know theyll be successfulwhat can you offer (foreign study, work with faculty, internship programs, peer groups)

    **Central Theme

    Plot Most Majors and Careers

    Base Fit Index on Map

    Forced Fit**Higher Ability in Ideas and Things

    Lower Ability more Data and Things**Not associated with Liberal Arts Colleges

    Lower Ability even harder to recruit**Red = PrivateGreen= Public********Loyola University Example

    Marketing - meeting people where they are

    *

    Goal to get the to the end outcomeShow them the path to get them there

    *Counselor/advisors - help to move onto the right pathInformed decisions parents who wen to college

    Recruitment standpoint spend time and money if students have strong stated interest and also measured interest

    ****