Wolniak, G., & Pascarella E. (2005). The effects of college major and job field congruence on job satisfaction. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 233-251.

This study investigated predictors of job satisfaction and builds on previous research on the effects of bachelor’s degree majors and job field congruence on job satisfaction. Data on workers’ job experiences in 2001 were matched to those workers’ college experiences across 30 institutions and background characteristics up to 25 years earlier. With statistical controls for […]

Melguizo, T., & Wolniak, G. C. (2012). The earnings benefits of majoring in STEM fields among high achieving minority students. Research in Higher Education, 53(4), 383-405.

The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the association between major field of study in college and early career earnings among a sample of academically accomplished minority students. Results demonstrate the economic benefits minority students experience from majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math field during college, and highlight the […]

Hu, S., & Wolniak, G. C. (2013). College student engagement and early career earnings: Differences by gender, race/ethnicity, and academic preparation. The Review of Higher Education, 36(2), 211-233.

Using longitudinal data from the 2001 cohort of applicants to the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program, the authors examined scaled measures of academic and social engagement in relation to labor market earnings to test whether the economic value of student engagement among high-achieving students of color differs by student characteristics. Results confirm that academic and […]

Xu, Y. J. (2013). Career outcomes of STEM and non-STEM college graduates: Persistence in majored-field and influential factors in career choices. Research in Higher Education, 54(3), 349-382.

Using data from a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of college graduates, this study examines student transition from college to their chosen career paths and identifies factors influencing college graduates’ choosing an occupation related to ones’ undergraduate major. Within the context of expanded econometric framework a wide range of variables are considered, including monetary and nonmonetary […]

Olitsky, N. H. (2014). How do academic achievement and gender affect the earnings of STEM majors? A propensity score matching approach. Research in Higher Education, 55(3), 245-271.

The United States government recently enacted a number of policies designed to increase the number of American born students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), especially among women and racial and ethnic minorities. This study examines how the earnings benefits of choosing a STEM major vary both by gender and across […]

Xu, Y. (2015). Focusing on women in STEM: A longitudinal examination of gender-based earning gap of college graduates. The Journal of Higher Education, 86(4), 489-523.

This study investigates the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations from the aspect of earning differentials. Using a national data source that tracked college graduates’ work experiences over a ten-year time frame post-bachelor’s degree, this study examines longitudinally the gender-based earning gaps of college graduates in STEM fields, and compares […]

Xu, Y. J. (2017). Attrition of women in STEM: Examining job/major congruence in the career choices of college graduates. Journal of Career Development, 44(1), 3-19.

Data from a national survey are used to examine how individual characteristics and social structural factors may influence college graduates choosing an occupation that is congruent with their undergraduate field of study. Analysis is conducted separately for males and females and for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors. Comparisons between […]

Xu, Y. J. (2016). Aspirations and application for graduate education: gender differences in low-participation STEM disciplines. Research in Higher Education, 57(8), 913-942.

Past research has established educational aspiration as an important factor leading to future planning and academic attainment, but there is a lack of scholarly attention to the role of educational aspiration in the pursuit of graduate education. Using a recent nationally representative sample of college graduates, this study examines educational aspiration of college graduates in […]