Administrative Issues Journal


This study employs a survey of undergraduate business school freshmen to examine factors that influence their decision to study business and whether these factors differ by gender. Specifically, the study examines internal factors, such as students’ perceived aptitudes and interests in the subject; external factors, such as compensation and job availability; and social/interpersonal influences, such as input of teachers, school counselors, parents, and friends. This paper follows up on the authors’ earlier work, which found that despite an increase in the number of male students enrolled in business programs across the nation during the period between 2003 and 2011, female representation declined—an enrollment trend with significant consequences for colleges of business, industry, and the national economy. This study is an attempt to understand this trend by identifying those factors that may influence women to choose business as an undergraduate major.