What Do GCC Students Want to be When They Grow Up?

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Do you ever look around you in class and wonder if you are the exception, or the rule? Are you on the road less traveled, or surrounded by your peers? Since I tend to look at things from a statistical standpoint, these are questions I quietly ask as I look at the faces around me. Did you know, there is statistical data on the GCC website under institutional research and assessment? It contains some interesting data that further confirms some of my suspicions about which majors appeal to older students, and which majors are chosen more by young students. There is also information on which classes are predominately female and which have higher percentages of male enrollment. I want to preface this blog with a disclaimer. I am looking at this chart as a novice and just for fun, so none of my estimations are guaranteed accurate.
With total enrollment from 2008 to 2011 being predominately female by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1; it is surprising that there are any majors where the men outnumber the women. Communication and Media Arts Majors tend to be boys, however girls are closing the gap, if trends continue. Business Administration classes are where the boys are, as the chart indicates there are about 20 percent more males in that major. Criminal Justice is 2 to 1 in favor of men, also. Computer Information Systems is the most male dominated with a 4 to 1 ratio. Men are also found in the Physical Education major about three times as often as women.
Teaching has been dominated by females, so the 4 to 1 ratio from 2008 to 2010 is no surprise, but in 2011 the gap narrowed with a 3 to 1. It is also no surprise that more females go into Nursing than males. Interestingly, over the four year span, enrollment has been increasing, and the female to male ratio has narrowed from 10 to 1 to 5 to 1. Fashion Merchandising Management, Tourism and Hospitality, and Medical Administrative Assistant also largely appeal to woman.
As far as the returning students are concerned, they seem to choose very specific career minded professions. Teaching Assistants, Customer Relationship Manager and Respiratory Care degrees appeal to students with an average age of 33. Next in line are Accounting and Administrating Assistants whom were 32, on average. We round out the 30 somethings with degrees in Human Services, Paralegal and Nursing.
Students who are fresh out of high school are more likely to choose degrees that are a bit more abstract and flexible, perhaps even artistic. The youngest average age of 19 was found in Fashion Merchandising Management. Other majors that appeal to those in their early 20’s include Theater Tech, Digital Art, Criminal Justice, Physical Education, and Communications/Media Arts.
As you can see, your mom was right when she said you can be anything when you grow up. The career choices people make depend on a lot of factors that are specific to that individual’s preferences and abilities as well as the employment opportunities in the area. The chart does seem to show a definite shift in these choices as a person approaches late twenties and into the thirties. It seems that the question “What do you want to be when you grow up,” changes over time. Let it inspire hope in young people who are following their dreams, that there are second chances in life. If your original dream does not work out, do not dispair. Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars! Go back to school.

4 thoughts on “What Do GCC Students Want to be When They Grow Up?

  1. Edward Wagner

    Agreed…Just turned 45 and made the Deans list after my first full semester of classes since High School. Expecting to get accepted into the nursing program this March for the fall 2013 semester…..Not bad for somebody who has been earning a living as a truck driver for the past 25 years.

    • della333

      Thanks for the comment Ed. Great work on making the Deans list! As a side note, It has been my observation and opinion that older students tend to try harder and the grades show the effort. I’m doing better then I ever did the first time around. When you have lived life, you appriciate a chance for an education!

  2. “What Do GCC Students Want to be When They Grow Up?
    Genesee Community College | Campus Blog” honestly got
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