Field of study choice by community college students in Canada
Community college education is a key component of Canadian postsecondary education, with 21% of the population aged 25-64 having college credentials. In order to understand educational decisions at this level, we estimate a model of choice of field of study and analyze, among other things, the effect of earnings on this choice. In this way, we exploit two cross-sections (and cohorts) of young workers who completed community college (Cegeps in Quebec) in 1990 and 1995 from the Canadian National Graduate Survey. Structural estimates indicate that the probability of selecting a specific community college field of study depends significantly upon anticipated earnings in this field relative to other fields. Our results also show that women put less weight on earnings compared to men when choosing a field of study, and that students who were employed prior to starting community college are more sensitive to earnings variations across fields of study than students with no prior work experience.
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