June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.587.1 - 23.587.36
Factors Influencing Students’ Choice of Engineering MajorInvestment in science and technology education has been identified as a key component forensuring future prosperity for the nation by preparing qualified STEM professionals to lead theadvancement of technology, manufacturing, and infrastructure. Efforts to remain competitiveinternationally in engineering and technology require that engineering colleges train a diverse setof talented students. Increasing the number of trained engineers requires not only a continuouseffort to attract students to the traditional engineering majors, but also to newer majors likebioengineering, systems engineering, sustainability studies, etc. This study investigates thedifferent factors that can influence a K-12 student’s choice of an engineering major. The surveytool comprises a set of questions for engineering college upperclassman, which provides keyinsights as to why students selected their major originally, or decided to change it. The studyresults indicate whether key student characteristics, like gender and socio-economic background,influence the timing and selection of certain types of engineering majors. The analysis ofvariance method is used to determine whether student characteristics significantly affect theirchoices. Analysis and results provide insights into students’ decision-making process whenselecting engineering majors and has the potential to inform best practices for recruitingengineering students. A summary of the methods and findings of this study are presented alongwith discussion of the implications for new and innovative recruitment practices. Future workincludes expanding the study to other engineering colleges.
Carnasciali, M., & Thompson, A. E., & Thomas, T. J. (2013, June), Factors influencing students' choice of engineering major Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19601
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