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Factors Explaining the Choice of a Finance Major: The Role of Student Characteristics, Personality and Perceptions of the Profession

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  • Andrew Worthington
  • Helen Higgs

Abstract

This paper examines the role of student characteristics, personality, and perceptions of the banking and finance profession in determining the choice of an undergraduate finance major. The data employed is drawn from a survey of first-year business students at a large Australian university. Student characteristics examined include gender, secondary school studies in accounting, business and economics, grade point average and attendance mode. Perceptions of the banking and finance profession revolve around questions of overall interest, relationships of persons working within the profession, the manner in which the profession deals with problems and tasks, and the nature of these problems. A binary probit model is used to identify the source and magnitude of factors associated with a student’s choice of major. The evidence provided suggests that the choice of a finance major is a function of students’ overall interest in the profession, perceptions of how the profession deals with problems and tasks, mode of attendance, and to a lesser extent, gender. The study emphasises the need to incorporate factors associated with students’ personality and perceptions in analyses of this type.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Worthington & Helen Higgs, 2001. "Factors Explaining the Choice of a Finance Major: The Role of Student Characteristics, Personality and Perceptions of the Profession," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 088, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:088
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    File URL: http://external-apps.qut.edu.au/business/documents/discussionPapers/2001/Andrew%20Wortho%20-%20No.%2088.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John J. Siegfried & Michael K. Salemi, 1999. "The State of Economic Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 355-361, May.
    2. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
    3. Philip Lewis & Keith Norris, 1997. "Recent Changes In Economics Enrolments," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 16(1), pages 1-13, March.
    4. Ann L. Owen & Elizabeth J. Jensen, 2000. "Why Are Women Such Reluctant Economists? Evidence from Liberal Arts Colleges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 466-470, May.
    5. Alex Millmow, 1995. "The Market For Economists In Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 14(4), pages 83-96, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kathleen Goffey & Andrew Worthington, 2002. "Motor Vehicle Usage Patterns in Australia: A Comparative Analysis of Driver, Vehicle & Purpose Characteristics for Household & Freight Travel," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 117, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    2. Beverley Jackling & Claude Calero, 2006. "Influences on Undergraduate Students' Intentions to become Qualified Accountants: Evidence from Australia," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 419-438.

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