Information Brief 2012-9

Career Interests by Occupational Field

In broad terms, the career plans of ACT-tested 2011 high school graduates are similar across racial/ethnic groups. ACT organizes occupations into 26 occupational fields. We focus here on 9 occupational fields that were chosen by at least 5% of graduates who were very sure or fairly sure about their occupational choice. About 75% of ACT-tested 2011 graduates planned to work in one of these 9 fields.

Career Interests by Race/Ethnicity

Occupational FieldAfrican
American
AsianHispanicWhite
Applied Arts (Visual)5.74.46.15.2
Community Service4.63.46.37.6
Education10.83.46.75.6
Engineering & Technologies10.513.211.69.6
Health Care10.39.212.314.4
Management5.86.96.89.4
Medical Diagnosis & Treatment13.020.411.410.3
Natural Science & Technologies7.110.26.24.7
Social Science5.94.67.35.9

The chart above shows that similar percentages of students from each group are choosing many of the same occupational fields. More than 10% of the students are interested in engineering & technologies, medical diagnosis & treatment, or health care fields. These fields are popular with all racial/ethnic groups.

Note: Data are based on about 60% of the 1.6 million ACT-tested 2011 high school graduates who reported an occupational choice and were very sure or fairly sure about their choice. About 6% of these students did not report any specific career choice and were excluded from the analysis.

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