ACT - Intended Majors and Career Interests

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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
•
•
•
With 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 student’s interests on the ACT World of
Work Map.
Goals of the Presentation
•
•
During the presentation we will look at
differences in expressed and measured
major and career interests between
men and women
We 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 Bands
•
The first table shows majors where
male and female interest is strongest
- Red: females more than 50% more likely to
have this intended major
- Green: males more than 50% more likely
to have this intended major
•
For convenience of reporting, the 295
individual majors are “rolled up” into 18
groupings of similar majors
Planned Major
Agriculture & Natural Res Conservation
Architecture
Area, Ethnic, & Multidisciplinary Studies
Arts: Visual & Performing
Business
Communications
Community, Family, & Personal Services
Computer Science & Mathematics
Education
Engineering
Engineering Technology & Drafting
English & Foreign Languages
Health Administration & Assisting
Health Scences & Technologies
Philosophy, Religion, & Theology
Repair, Production, & Construction
Sciences: Biological & Physical
Social Sciences & Law
Undecided
1-15
0.39
0.27
0.75
0.98
0.63
0.77
1.48
0.25
1.69
0.09
0.09
1.57
4.11
3.48
0.63
0.04
1.39
1.55
0.78
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19
20-23
24-27
28-32
0.40
0.53
0.79
1.14
0.29
0.38
0.59
0.82
1.02
0.99
1.27
1.40
1.12
1.28
1.40
1.50
0.61
0.57
0.57
0.61
1.03
1.42
1.83
2.19
1.18
1.10
1.27
1.70
0.18
0.18
0.20
0.28
1.88
2.27
2.67
2.91
0.09
0.12
0.18
0.28
0.09
0.10
0.13
0.17
2.00
2.26
2.60
2.93
3.26
2.32
1.75
1.27
2.73
2.30
1.99
1.69
0.59
0.56
0.59
0.56
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.12
1.20
1.14
1.14
1.12
1.49
1.52
1.51
1.45
0.74
0.80
0.92
1.08
33-36
1.60
1.43
1.40
1.57
0.71
2.05
3.34
0.43
3.78
0.45
0.26
2.88
0.83
1.49
0.49
0.12
1.17
1.41
1.21
Intended Major by Female/Male Ratio and ACT Composite
Score Band
Intended Majors by Frequency
•
The next two tables show intended majors
by frequency and ACT Composite Score
bands
– The 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
strongest
– Light Red: females more than 50% more likely
to have this intended major
– Light Green: males more than 50% more likely
to have this intended major
Red: >9%
Green: <6%
Comparative Frequency of Intended Majors
Planned Major
Agriculture & Natural Res Conservation
Architecture
Area, Ethnic, & Multidisciplinary Studies
Arts: Visual & Performing
Business
Communications
Community, Family, & Personal Services
Computer Science & Mathematics
Education
Engineering
Engineering Technology & Drafting
English & Foreign Languages
Health Administration & Assisting
Health Scences & Technologies
Philosophy, Religion, & Theology
Repair, Production, & Construction
Sciences: Biological & Physical
Social Sciences & Law
Undecided
1-15
2%
1%
0%
8%
11%
2%
8%
2%
6%
5%
3%
1%
5%
19%
0%
3%
3%
6%
15%
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19
20-23
24-27
28-32
2%
2%
1%
1%
1%
1%
1%
1%
0%
0%
0%
0%
7%
7%
7%
6%
11%
11%
10%
8%
2%
3%
3%
2%
6%
3%
2%
1%
2%
3%
3%
3%
8%
8%
6%
4%
4%
5%
7%
10%
3%
3%
3%
4%
1%
1%
2%
3%
3%
2%
1%
1%
22%
22%
19%
16%
0%
1%
1%
1%
2%
1%
0%
0%
4%
6%
9%
12%
7%
8%
8%
9%
14%
15%
16%
18%
Intended Major by Column Frequency and ACT
Composite Score Band
33-36
0%
1%
1%
3%
6%
1%
0%
5%
2%
16%
4%
2%
0%
13%
1%
0%
17%
7%
20%
Intended Major by Column Frequency and ACT
Composite Score Band & Strong Male/Female Interest
ACT Composite Scores by Gender
•
The next chart shows the percentage of
men and women whose ACT Composite
score falls in particular ability bands
– More women than men test in total
– Men are over-represented at the highest and
lowest score bands
– Women are over-represented at the middle
ability levels
•
Thus, 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
200,000
180,000
160,000
140,000
120,000
100,000
Male
Female
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
1-12
13-15
16-18
19-21
22-24
25-27
28-30
31-33
34-36
Intended Majors by 4-yr Public/Private
Ratio and ACT Composite Score Bands
•
The next table shows majors by
preferred institution type
− Red: greater than a ratio of 1, 4-yr private
more likely to have this intended major
− Green: less than a ratio of 1, 4-yr public
more likely to have this intended major
4-yr Priv/4-yr Public Ratio
Planned Major
Agriculture & Natural Res Conservation
Architecture
Area, Ethnic, & Multidisciplinary Studies
Arts: Visual & Performing
Business
Communications
Community, Family, & Personal Services
Computer Science & Mathematics
Education
Engineering
Engineering Technology & Drafting
English & Foreign Languages
Health Administration & Assisting
Health Scences & Technologies
Philosophy, Religion, & Theology
Repair, Production, & Construction
Sciences: Biological & Physical
Social Sciences & Law
Undecided
1-15
0.87
0.98
1.83
1.31
1.02
1.27
0.84
0.97
1.08
0.80
0.80
1.40
0.80
0.87
4.97
0.86
1.24
1.24
0.92
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19
20-23
24-27
28-32
0.57
0.40
0.33
0.25
0.83
0.79
0.74
0.73
1.52
2.06
2.53
2.46
1.40
1.43
1.40
1.27
1.07
1.05
1.02
1.04
1.30
1.29
1.18
1.04
0.82
0.73
0.68
0.66
0.79
0.78
0.78
0.77
1.10
1.06
0.97
0.89
0.77
0.76
0.72
0.65
0.80
0.73
0.70
0.62
1.52
1.59
1.67
1.80
0.70
0.72
0.68
0.75
0.85
0.86
0.86
0.82
6.18
5.87
4.41
3.93
0.60
0.57
0.56
0.44
1.18
1.14
1.13
1.13
1.18
1.24
1.32
1.50
0.95
0.92
0.99
1.11
33-36
0.22
0.70
2.28
1.17
1.13
0.78
0.40
0.83
0.74
0.67
0.71
1.60
0.86
0.84
3.74
0.25
1.23
1.58
1.19
Intended Major by 4-year Priv/4-year Pub Ratio and ACT
Comp. Score Band
Correlations by Gender and
Institution Type Preference
•
Majority Male and 4-yr Public
− Agric. & Natural Res Conservation (ACT 1-27)
− Architecture (ACT 1-32)
− Computer Science & Math
− Engineering
− Engineering Technology & Drafting
− Repair, Production & Construction
− Undecided (ACT 1-27)
Correlations by Gender and
Institution Type Preference
•
Majority Female and 4-yr Public
‒ Agric. & Natural Res Conservation (ACT 28-36)
‒ Architecture (ACT 33-36)
‒ Communications (ACT 33-36)
‒ Community, Family & Personal Services
‒ Education (ACT 24-26)
‒ Health Administration & Assisting (ACT 1-32)
‒ Health Sciences & Technologies
Correlations by Gender and
Institution Type Preference
•
Majority Male and 4-yr Private
‒ Area, 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 Preference
•
Majority Female and 4-yr Private
– Area, Ethnic & Multidisciplinary (ACT 1619; 24-36)
– Arts: Visual and Performing (ACT 16-36)
– Communications (ACT 16-32)
– Education (ACT 1-23)
– English & Foreign Languages
– Sciences: Biological & Physical
– Social Sciences & Law
– Undecided (ACT 28-36)
Intended Major by Frequency
and ACT Composite Score Band
•
The 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 grouping
– The 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 rank
– You 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 and
World of Work Map
•
The next part of the presentation shows
data for the ACT Interest Inventory and
World of Work Map Regions
‒ Gender 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 grade 12 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 Plans
A 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 CERTIFICATE—vocational/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 LEVEL—one or two years of graduate study
(MA, MBA, etc.)
• DOCTORATE/PROF DEGREE—professional level degree (PhD, MD,
JD, etc.)
• OTHER
Interest Inventory by Male/Female
Ratio and ACT Comp. Score Bands
•
The next table shows Map Regions
where male and female interest is
strongest
‒ Red: females more than 50% more likely to
be in this Map Region
‒ Green: males more than 50% more likely
to be in this Map Region
Interest Inventory by Female/Male Ratio and ACT
Composite Score Band
Fem/Male Ratio
Map Region 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
99
1-15
1.75
1.82
1.06
0.58
0.50
0.50
0.75
1.32
1.50
1.70
1.79
1.99
1.00
ACT Composite
16-19
20-23
1.48
1.28
1.46
1.20
0.92
0.82
0.58
0.61
0.46
0.50
0.44
0.42
0.70
0.69
1.27
1.14
1.61
1.55
1.87
1.94
1.86
2.02
1.88
1.82
0.95
0.87
Score Range
24-27
28-32
1.19
1.10
1.07
0.98
0.78
0.79
0.72
0.91
0.56
0.68
0.41
0.43
0.67
0.66
1.02
0.95
1.42
1.29
1.96
2.00
2.03
2.03
1.75
1.72
0.86
0.87
33-36
0.98
0.81
0.92
1.23
0.92
0.53
0.73
1.01
1.23
1.91
2.02
1.40
0.92
Selected Careers in Map Regions where Female
Interest is Strongest: People & Ideas; People & Data
•
•
•
•
•
•
Map Region 1 (ACT 1-15)
– Human resources management & training
Map Region 2 (1-15)
– Marketing & sales
Map Region 9 (ACT 16-23)
– Medical technologies
Map Region 10
– Applied arts (visual); medical diagnosis & treatment; social
science
Map Region 11
– Applied arts (written & spoken); creative & performing arts
Map Region 12
– Community 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 & records
•
Map Region 5 (1-27)
– Distribution & dispatching
•
Map Region 6
– Ag/forestry & related; transport operation & related;
computer/info specialties
•
Map 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 Bands
•
The next table shows Map Regions by
preferred institution type
‒ Red: 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 Region 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
99
1-15
0.98
0.92
1.06
0.93
0.91
0.92
0.91
1.14
1.11
1.18
1.10
1.06
1.02
ACT Composite
16-19
20-23
0.99
1.03
1.02
1.07
0.94
0.94
0.85
0.78
0.79
0.78
0.83
0.78
0.95
0.87
1.04
1.02
1.11
1.10
1.19
1.21
1.24
1.23
1.14
1.20
0.99
1.00
Score Range
24-27
28-32
1.08
1.18
1.10
1.17
0.90
0.90
0.75
0.76
0.75
0.71
0.75
0.71
0.87
0.86
0.97
0.97
1.10
1.11
1.20
1.21
1.27
1.26
1.23
1.31
1.01
1.01
33-36
1.16
1.28
0.89
0.79
0.74
0.74
0.86
1.02
1.14
1.16
1.40
1.21
1.14
Map Regions by Frequency
•
The next three tables shows Map Regions by
frequency and ACT Composite Score bands
‒ The 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 band
‒ Green: <6% of students in an ability band
Red: >9%
Green: <6%
Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT
Composite Score Band
Female Students
Female
Map Region 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
99
1-15
11%
10%
6%
7%
9%
6%
7%
7%
7%
5%
7%
7%
11%
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19 20-23 24-27 28-32
10%
8%
7%
6%
9%
8%
8%
7%
4%
4%
4%
3%
5%
4%
4%
4%
7%
6%
6%
6%
6%
5%
5%
5%
8%
8%
8%
8%
9%
10%
11%
13%
10%
13%
15%
17%
7%
9%
10%
10%
8%
9%
9%
8%
8%
8%
8%
7%
8%
7%
7%
6%
33-36
4%
6%
4%
4%
7%
6%
9%
17%
19%
8%
5%
5%
6%
Red: >9%
Green: <6%
Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT
Composite Score Band
Male Students
Male
Map Region 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
99
1-15
6%
6%
5%
11%
18%
13%
10%
5%
5%
3%
4%
4%
11%
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19 20-23 24-27 28-32
7%
7%
6%
5%
6%
7%
7%
7%
5%
5%
5%
4%
8%
7%
5%
4%
15%
12%
10%
8%
13%
12%
12%
12%
11%
11%
11%
12%
7%
9%
11%
14%
6%
8%
10%
13%
4%
5%
5%
5%
4%
4%
4%
4%
4%
5%
5%
4%
9%
8%
8%
7%
33-36
4%
7%
4%
3%
8%
12%
13%
17%
15%
4%
3%
3%
7%
Red: >9%
Green: <6%
Interest Inventory by Column Frequency and ACT
Composite Score Band
2-Yr Public Students
2-Yr Public
Map Region 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
99
1-15
8%
7%
6%
10%
15%
11%
9%
6%
5%
4%
5%
5%
10%
ACT Composite Score Range
16-19 20-23 24-27 28-32
7%
6%
4%
4%
6%
6%
5%
6%
4%
4%
4%
2%
8%
7%
7%
6%
14%
12%
12%
12%
11%
10%
11%
12%
10%
11%
12%
13%
8%
11%
12%
15%
7%
9%
11%
10%
5%
7%
7%
7%
6%
5%
5%
5%
5%
5%
4%
2%
8%
7%
7%
6%
33-36
6%
0%
0%
0%
28%
17%
22%
22%
6%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Summary of Data on Measured & Expressed
Interests & Preferred Inst. Type
Conclusions
•
•
•
•
Male and female students have clearly different
patterns of intended majors and Interest
Inventory Map Regions
As ability levels rise, students choose intended
majors that are more math & reading intensive
On the Interest Inventory, female students
predominant in the two “people areas”: people
and ideas & people and data
On 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
Implications
•
Students 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 Inventory
•
ACT calculates a “Fit Index” to measure the
congruence between intended major and
Interest Inventory Scores
– Students at lower ability levels have less
congruence than students at higher ability levels
– Put differently, higher ability students may be
making more thoughtful and appropriate choices
Major Enhancement to the ACT
Electronic Record
•
Beginning in September 2012, ACT will
begin appending 5 new data elements
to the ACT Score Report:
− Interest-Major Fit score
− Four predictive modeling indexes
The Interest-Major Fit Index
−
−
The Fit score shows the strength of the
relationship between a student’s 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.
Predicting Enrollment Behavior
with Four Indexes
−
−
−
−
The Mobility Index predicts the likelihood of a
student enrolling at an out-of-state institution
The Institution Type Index predicts the
likelihood of a student enrolling at a private
institution
The Selectivity Index predicts the selectivity
of the institution at which the student is likely
to enroll
The Institution Size Index predicts the size of
the institution at which the student is likely to
enroll
Variables Included in the Four Indexes
Academic Variables
Demographic Variables
ACT Composite
Home community size
High school GPA
High school enrollment
Years of foreign language
Type of high school
Program of study in HS
Enrollment Preference Variables
Years of math coursework
Campus mix (score sending pattern)
Highest degree expected
Level of college choice
Student Characteristic
Variables
Preferred college size
Planned work hours in college
Preferred college type
Family income
Intended major (7 groups)
Involvement in science
Preferred distance home to campus
Involvement in athletics
No college in mind
Involvement in music
Scores sent to comm. college
Debra FitzGerald
Tim Osborn
Senior Consultant, Client Outreach
Senior Consultant, Program Solutions
ACT Midwest Region
ACT Midwest Region
Lincolnshire, IL
Lincolnshire, IL
847-634-2560
847-634-2560
[email protected]
[email protected]
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