Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

Identifying the Principal Factors Affecting the Selection of Higher Education Economical Studies in Greece

Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

Identifying the Principal Factors Affecting the Selection of Higher Education Economical Studies in Greece

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper presents a study of the factors affecting the selections of university departments for undergraduate studies made by high school graduates in Greece; crucial decisions affecting both the vocational career of the individuals as well as the labor market at national level. It is therefore important for the economic development of a country to understand how people come early to decisions that have a significant effect in their career. The factors under consideration have been identified by the high school candidates for university introductory exams in Greece. A methodology is introduced based on correspondence analysis for estimating the importance of the factors affecting a certain outcome and a structured questionnaire has been designed for this purpose, covering several socioeconomic factors which were considered as important by the students in their decision making procedure. The methodology is then used to estimate the impact of 18 factors influencing the order of preference of 318 male and 454 female high school students in their final selection of economical university departments. The paper also reveals whether there is any differentiation or harmonization among groups of students, such as between the two genders, with respect to these factors.

Keywords: Higher education, Economical studies, Economic development, Correspondence analysis, Comparative evaluation

1. Introduction

Selecting a department for undergraduate studies is a significant decision that has a substantial and long lasting impact on both the personal career of an individual and the labor market of a country. It is also important from the point of view of policy making of the ministries of education and labor, as well as of the economic growth of a country, to understand how people make early choices that have a major impact on their careers. To this purpose a structured questionnaire was developed that has been completed by 772 university students. The questions covered various factors, mainly socio-economic ones, which have been considered to play an important role for the decision of the students. The questionnaire was based on more than 20 years of experience of one of the authors with high school candidates to introductory exams for Greek universities. The methodology used is based on correspondence analysis (Lebart et al 2002), in order to analyze the collected information of the respondents.

Two pieces of the applied methodology are presented briefly aiming to study the issue at hand: a) the questions designed for the study are presented; and b) a methodology is discussed for estimating the impact of factors influencing the selection of university departments made by the students and for finding out if there is any differentiation or harmonization in the factors' importance across groups of subjects, such as across gender.

2. Literature Review

Several prior studies employing a variety of different factors, have examined the criteria used by students in accounting discipline when selecting their career. Other studies have examined the impact of factors influencing the selection of university departments made by business students in respect with their past choices of undergraduate studies as high school candidates for university introductory exams.

In the accounting literature, several career-choice studies have been conducted to identify factors influencing individuals in choosing accounting as a career (Ashworth, 1969; Carpenter and Strawser, 1970; Evans, 1974; Thielens, 1974; Triandis et al., 1988; Gui et al., 1989; Horowitz and Riley, 1990; Triandis et al., 1990; Markus and Kitayama, 1991; Bundy and Norris, 1992; Felton et al., 1994; Auyeung and Sands, 1997; Lowe and Simons, 1997; Saemann and Crooker, 1999).

Firstly, Ginzberg (1951) identified three categories of occupational-choice dimensions and groups these as values: concomitant value, extrinsic value and intrinsic value. …

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