How to choose your minor? Decision making variables used in the selection of a minor by undergraduate students from a Dutch university of applied sciences
AbstractIn recent years the higher education sector (HE) has been influenced by a marketised approach in which students are perceived as customers and in which student satisfaction is used as a measure of educational quality. Demand-driven education can be looked at as one of the consequences of this marketisation. In response to this phenomenon Dutch universities of applied science have designed their undergraduate professional bachelor programs education in majors and minors thereby offering students the possibility to customize their educational program. However, hardly any knowledge is available on minor choices of students. This paper presents the results of a survey looking into decision making variables influencing the minor choice of undergraduate students from a consumer behaviour perspective. Bachelor students from a large university of applied sciences in the Netherlands participated in the survey. Analysis of the data led to the discovery of nine decision making attributes and five sources of information & advice. The learning value of the minor proved to be the most important minor characteristic students take into consideration when selecting a minor. The contribution of the minor to the future career opportunities of the student and to the broadening horizon of the student also proved important when choosing a minor. The same goes for the contribution of the minor to the development of the competences required for the bachelor degree. Students use several sources of information & advice to form an impression of the minor of their choice. The digital information & advice from the department that offers the minor programme is most important in finding out about the relevant minor characteristics. Students use the information that is in the digital minor catalogue and they consult minor-specific websites. Non-digital information & advice seems less important. These results contribute to the theoretical knowledge about minor selection specifically and about student choices in higher education in general. The results of this study can be used by universities of applied sciences in developing the minor portfolio, in providing information and in coaching students. This study is one of the first into minor decision making variables. Further research is needed to test its results and to elaborate on aspects of minor-selection not dealt with in this study.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht School of Management in its series Working Papers with number 2012/06.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
minor; higher education; Dutch university; bachelor;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-06-25 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2012-06-25 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2012-06-25 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Montmarquette, Claude & Cannings, Kathy & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 2002.
"How do young people choose college majors?,"
Economics of Education Review,
Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 543-556, December.
- MONTMARQUETTE, Claude & CANNINGS, Kathy & MAHSEREDJIAN, Sophie, 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
- Montmarquette, C. & Cannings, C. & Mahseredjian,S., 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Cebula, Richard & Lopes, Jerry, 1981. "Determinants of Student Choice of Undergraduate Major Field," MPRA Paper 49826, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Feb 1982.
- Lindsay Noble Calkins & Andrew Welki, 2006. "Factors that influence choice of major: why some students never consider economics," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(8), pages 547-564, August.
- Vrontis, Demetris & Thrassou, Alkis & Melanthiou, Yioula, 2007. "A contemporary higher education student-choice model for developed countries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 979-989, September.
- Eide, Eric & Waehrer, Geetha, 1998. "The Role of the Option Value of College Attendance in College Major Choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 73-82, February.
- Boudarbat, Brahim, 2008. "Field of study choice by community college students in Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 79-93, February.
- Kevin N. Rask & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 2002. "Are Faculty Role Models? Evidence from Major Choice in an Undergraduate Institution," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 99-124, January.
- Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maud de By).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.