Differences in Career Outcome Expectations of College Students by Race/Ethnicity and Gender
Keywords:socialization, career interest, race/ethnicity, gender, STEM careers
This study examined how U.S. college students’ career outcome expectations—what they hope to get out of their careers—vary by intended career path, racial/ethnic groups, gender, and other individual difference factors. The data were drawn from the Persistence Research in Science and Engineering (PRiSE) survey, a national study of U.S. college students enrolled in college English courses (n = 7505). An exploratory factor analysis revealed four foci of career outcome expectations, which we labeled as follows: extrinsic (rewards are external, such as money or status), work-life balance (work does not consume all of a person’s time/energy), pioneering (work is intellectually stimulating and cutting edge), and people-related (work involves working with and helping others). While controlling for career interest, our findings indicate that students’ gender and race/ethnicity influence their career outcome expectations in a wide variety of ways. Due to the differences in career outcome expectations associated with student backgrounds and demographics beyond career interest, recruiters and program directors looking to attract more diverse populations may benefit from matching the career outcomes they present and offer with those populations’ outcome expectations.
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