Limits...
Why do different people choose different university degrees? Motivation and the choice of degree.

Skatova A, Ferguson E - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: We demonstrated that medical degrees were chosen due to a mixture of Helping and Career, while engineering degrees were associated with Career and low Interest in the degree.We also demonstrated gender differences: females were high in Helping (both samples) and Interest (only in the undergraduate sample) motivation, while males scored higher in Career (only in the undergraduate sample) and Loafing (both samples).The findings can feed into both theoretical accounts of proximal motivation as well as provide help to improve degree programmes at universities and support better career advice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK ; Horizon Digital Economy Research, University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK.

ABSTRACT
Different people choose undergraduate degrees to study at university for different reasons. To date, there have been limited attempts to identify individual differences in motivation that drive undergraduate degree choice. We identified that people choose university degrees for four reasons: career concerns (Career), intrinsic interest in the subject (Interest), an opportunity to help others (Helping) and because they are looking for an easy option to get into higher education (Loafing). We investigated whether these motivations apply to the choice of undergraduate degree in two samples: (1) undergraduate (N = 989) and (2) prospective (N = 896) students. We developed the Motivations Influencing Course Choice (MICC) questionnaire to measure these motivations. Scales of Helping, Career, Loafing, and Interest showed good psychometric properties, showed validity with respect to general life goals and personality traits, and predicted actual and prospective degree choices. We demonstrated that medical degrees were chosen due to a mixture of Helping and Career, while engineering degrees were associated with Career and low Interest in the degree. The choice of arts and humanities degrees was driven by Interest and low concern about future career, accompanied with high Loafing. We also demonstrated gender differences: females were high in Helping (both samples) and Interest (only in the undergraduate sample) motivation, while males scored higher in Career (only in the undergraduate sample) and Loafing (both samples). The findings can feed into both theoretical accounts of proximal motivation as well as provide help to improve degree programmes at universities and support better career advice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Z-scores for Helping, Loafing, Interest and Career across all degree types in the undergraduate sample. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230040&req=5

Figure 5: Z-scores for Helping, Loafing, Interest and Career across all degree types in the undergraduate sample. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

Mentions: Using logistic regressions, we investigated how well specific dimensions of the MICC questionnaire predicted the choice of undergraduate degrees. A series of five hierarchical logistic regression tested predictive properties of the MICC scales with respect to undergraduate degree choice with age and gender controlled. The outcome variables for each regression were coded as 1 for the targeted degree type (e.g., medical sciences) vs. 0 for all other types. Age and gender were entered first, followed by life goals at Step 2, and the MICC scales at Step 3. We conducted additional analysis where each motivation was added separately at Step 3, and results are presented in Table 3. Steps 3a–d described in Table 3 estimated relative unique importance of each motivation for the choice of specific type of degree. The results are reported in Tables 4, 5 and Figures 5, 6.


Why do different people choose different university degrees? Motivation and the choice of degree.

Skatova A, Ferguson E - Front Psychol (2014)

Z-scores for Helping, Loafing, Interest and Career across all degree types in the undergraduate sample. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230040&req=5

Figure 5: Z-scores for Helping, Loafing, Interest and Career across all degree types in the undergraduate sample. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean.
Mentions: Using logistic regressions, we investigated how well specific dimensions of the MICC questionnaire predicted the choice of undergraduate degrees. A series of five hierarchical logistic regression tested predictive properties of the MICC scales with respect to undergraduate degree choice with age and gender controlled. The outcome variables for each regression were coded as 1 for the targeted degree type (e.g., medical sciences) vs. 0 for all other types. Age and gender were entered first, followed by life goals at Step 2, and the MICC scales at Step 3. We conducted additional analysis where each motivation was added separately at Step 3, and results are presented in Table 3. Steps 3a–d described in Table 3 estimated relative unique importance of each motivation for the choice of specific type of degree. The results are reported in Tables 4, 5 and Figures 5, 6.

Bottom Line: We demonstrated that medical degrees were chosen due to a mixture of Helping and Career, while engineering degrees were associated with Career and low Interest in the degree.We also demonstrated gender differences: females were high in Helping (both samples) and Interest (only in the undergraduate sample) motivation, while males scored higher in Career (only in the undergraduate sample) and Loafing (both samples).The findings can feed into both theoretical accounts of proximal motivation as well as provide help to improve degree programmes at universities and support better career advice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK ; Horizon Digital Economy Research, University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK.

ABSTRACT
Different people choose undergraduate degrees to study at university for different reasons. To date, there have been limited attempts to identify individual differences in motivation that drive undergraduate degree choice. We identified that people choose university degrees for four reasons: career concerns (Career), intrinsic interest in the subject (Interest), an opportunity to help others (Helping) and because they are looking for an easy option to get into higher education (Loafing). We investigated whether these motivations apply to the choice of undergraduate degree in two samples: (1) undergraduate (N = 989) and (2) prospective (N = 896) students. We developed the Motivations Influencing Course Choice (MICC) questionnaire to measure these motivations. Scales of Helping, Career, Loafing, and Interest showed good psychometric properties, showed validity with respect to general life goals and personality traits, and predicted actual and prospective degree choices. We demonstrated that medical degrees were chosen due to a mixture of Helping and Career, while engineering degrees were associated with Career and low Interest in the degree. The choice of arts and humanities degrees was driven by Interest and low concern about future career, accompanied with high Loafing. We also demonstrated gender differences: females were high in Helping (both samples) and Interest (only in the undergraduate sample) motivation, while males scored higher in Career (only in the undergraduate sample) and Loafing (both samples). The findings can feed into both theoretical accounts of proximal motivation as well as provide help to improve degree programmes at universities and support better career advice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus