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Personality and field of study choice

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  • Humburg, M.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

Abstract

Field of study choice has far-reaching implications for individuals enrolling in university. Field of study choice is strongly linked to the subject matter graduates will specialize in, the kind of work environment they will be working in, and the returns to their skills they can expect once they enter the workforce. This paper uses unique Dutch data which demonstrates that personality measured at age 14 can be linked to field of study choice at around age 19. It can be shown that the Big Five personality traits affect field of study choice. Moreover, while personality matters less than cognitive skills, such as math ability and verbal ability, for educational attainment, the influence of personality on field of study choice is comparable to that of cognitive skills. Sorting across fields of study on the basis of personality traits is in some respects similar for women and men, although substantial differences exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Humburg, M., 2014. "Personality and field of study choice," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2014001
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    File URL: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/1721890/content
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Personality and career choice
      by nawmsayn in ZeeConomics on 2014-02-13 00:22:01

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    Cited by:

    1. van de Ven, Niels & Bogaert, Aniek & Serlie, Alec & Brandt, Mark & Denissen, Jaap, 2017. "Personality perception based on LinkedIn profiles," Other publications TiSEM 4969ed69-b781-4d8c-8031-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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