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PEDAR: Executive Summary From Bachelor's Degree To Work
Field of Study
1997 Employment Status and Occupation
Full-Time Salaries
Job Benefits and Job Satisfaction
Gender Differences
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Field of Study

By far, the most popular undergraduate field of study was business. Over one-quarter (28 percent) of 1992-93 college graduates who did not attend graduate school by 1997 had majored in a business-related field. Following business, 15 and 13 percent, respectively, had majored in social sciences or humanities and arts. Nearly 1 in 10 had majored in education (9 percent), while approximately 7 percent had majored in engineering or architectural.1

Consistent with historically gender-dominated fields, men were more likely to major in engineering (13 versus 2 percent), computer science (4 versus 2 percent), and business (32 versus 24 percent), while women were more likely to major in education (13 versus 4 percent), nursing (6 versus 1 percent), and other health fields (4 versus 2 percent).

Business fields tended to attract older college graduates: more than one-third of graduates age 30 or older when receiving their bachelor's degree had majored in business (35 percent), compared with just over one-quarter (27 percent) of those 23 or younger. Asian/Pacific Islander college graduates were more likely than black, non-Hispanic graduates to favor engineering as a major. To further illustrate racial/ethnic group differences in undergraduate major, a report based on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) institutional survey in 1992 also showed that black, non-Hispanic graduates were more likely than others to complete degrees in business management and were less likely to earn degrees in education or health.

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