Predictors of Public or Private Employment for Business College Graduates

By Cohen, Audrey J. | Public Personnel Management, Spring 1993 | Go to article overview

Predictors of Public or Private Employment for Business College Graduates


Cohen, Audrey J., Public Personnel Management


The National Commission on the Public Service(1) recently called attention to the difficulty the Federal government has had in attracting and retaining management talent at all levels. The Task Force on Recruitment and Retention(2) found that the most academically talented college seniors in liberal arts, business administration, public administration, and engineering and science ranked a career in the public service, both at the federal and local levels, less attractive than a career in academia and small and large business.

This research analyzed alumni questionnaires to answer three questions. First, were there any significant associations between particular groups of alumni and government employment? Second, were the odds of working in government for these groups of alumni different from the odds of working in government for comparable groups in the total employed labor pool? Third, were personal experiences and characteristics or exogenous factors such as salary differentials between the public and private sectors better predictors of sector of employment?

Prior research asked related questions. Blank(3) looked at choice of sector in the labor market from an economic point of view. While she found significant sectoral wage differences for workers categorized by sex, education, race or level of occupation, she also showed that nonwage factors had a measurable effect on sector of employment. She explained the preference of minorities, women and veterans for public employment by asserting that government was more effective in implementing affirmative action internally than it was in policing affirmative action in the private sector.

Vocational choice theories have focused on the psychological dynamics behind choice of occupation, the development of occupationally related decision-making skills, the impact of life stages on vocational maturity, and the correspondence between the work personality and the work setting in terms of tenure and satisfaction(4). However, little attention has been paid to how these factors influence a person at a particular life stage and with a particular set of occupational interests and skills to seek and accept employment in either the public or private sector.

Moreover, Osipow(5) noted that none of the major theories examined in any detail the role of race. Hackett, Lent and Greenhaus(6) agreed that vocational theorists have neglected issues of race in organizational settings. Both London and Greller(7) and Bowman and Tinsley(8) called for increased research on ethnic and cultural groups.

To isolate the role of personal characteristics and experiences on sector of employment requires that external factors be held as constant as possible. The individuals in this study all graduated from the same college, and 95% worked in the same city two years later. Statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that from 1982 to 1988 government employment grew from 434,419 to 489,078 and private employment grew from 2,152,726 to 2,312,554. Both labor markets were expanding and the city possessed a wide mix of both private and public jobs. All graduates therefore enjoyed favorable economic conditions.

Methodology

Sample

The Office of the Dean of Students at Baruch College of the City University of New York mailed questionnaires to all alumni who graduated two years earlier. The response rates were 51% (760 respondents out of 1485 graduates) for 1986 alumni, 46% (628 respondents out of 1366 graduates) for 1984 alumni and 43% (607 respondents out of 1408 graduates) for 1982 alumni. All responses were anonymous.

The questionnaire asked age, sex, race or ethnic group, marital status and religious preference. It asked pre-college background information such as parental income and borough of residence. It asked for college experience information such as major, grade point average, number and kind of remedial courses taken in reading and mathematics, evaluation of the faculty in terms of availability, sensitivity, course organization and presentation, evaluation of administrative services such as admissions, curricular guidance, career counseling and placement, and type of financial aid received, if any. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Predictors of Public or Private Employment for Business College Graduates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.