Understanding the decision to enroll in graduate business programs: influence of sociological and economic factors and gender

Douglas, Stephanie, author
Kaminski, Karen, advisor
Cannon, Joseph, committee member
Kuk, Linda, committee member
Most, David, committee member
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This ex post facto study describes the associations of economic factors as well as social and cultural capital variables on enrollment in business master's degree programs and differences of associations by gender and race/ethnicity. Data from the 2008/2012 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B: 08/12) of those who completed a bachelor's degree in 2007-2008 and enrolled in post-baccalaureate programs were accessed and analyzed through PowerStats, a web-based data analysis tool available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Results from the logistic regression indicated relationships between undergraduate majors with the lowest average starting salary and likelihood of enrollment in master's degrees in business. It was also found first generation female students were more likely to enroll in master's degrees in business than a first generation male student who was less likely to enroll. Findings suggested differences in influence of variables by gender and race/ethnicity. Differences in enrollment influences was also found to vary by the type of institution (public, private non-profit, and private for-profit) enrolled at. However, since a major limitation of the study was omitted variable bias and use of secondary data, caution is warranted in terms of the extent to which the findings can be generalized to the population of students in business master's degree programs. This study expands on what we know about graduate college choice models and specifically focuses on enrollment in graduate business programs. It also contributes to the body of research on gender differences in higher education enrollment and policies and practices in graduate student recruitment, admission and enrollment.
2017 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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graduate education
sociological influence
higher education
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