My College Options Reports that High School Student Interest in Business Majors is Declining Dramatically

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High school students declaring an interest in business-related programs has been slowly declining for the last ten years, and has dropped dramatically in the last 18 months.

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The downward trend of students planning to pursue a business discipline began in the year 2000, and has turned more dramatically in the last 18 months, coinciding with the significant economic and political shifts around the country.

Business-related programs consistently have been among the most popular major choices for college students, but that is changing. The degree field is falling from favor among our nation’s current high school students. HS students declaring an interest in these fields has been slowly declining for the last ten years, and has dropped dramatically in the last 18 months.

NRCCUA has been surveying high school students regarding college majors and career interests for almost 40 years. The downward trend of students planning to pursue a business discipline began in the year 2000, and has turned more dramatically in the last 18 months, coinciding with the significant economic and political shifts around the country. NRCCUA, through its MyCollegeOptions.org college planning program, receives input about post-secondary plans from over 2 million students each school year.

Ryan Munce, Vice President of NRCCUA, reports, “Our findings serve as a leading indicator of the future workforce and output of American college graduates in the next several years. Any time a degree category shifts like this, it is important for those that will be impacted to prepare in advance.”

This striking data shows the average decline in interest of these business career areas since the 2000-2001 school year and the sharp drop between the 2008-2009 and the 2009-2010 school years:

Business-Related Majors / Average Annual Change From 2000-2008 / Decline Between Last and Current School Year

  • Accounting & Finance / - 4% / -16%
  • Business Administration / - 6% / -18%
  • Business (International) / + 18% / -17%
  • Business Owner & Entrepreneur / - 1% / -12%
  • Sales & Marketing / - 5% / -17%

NRCCUA, through the My College Options® College Planning Program, the nation’s largest free, online planning website, will continue to measure these factors and report significant findings on a regular basis.

About The National Research Center for College & University Admissions™ (NRCCUA®)
NRCCUA operates the nation’s largest college and career planning program, My College Options. NRCCUA is a non-profit educational research organization based in Lee’s Summit, MO. For 38 years, NRCCUA has conducted the largest nationwide survey of high school students, which serves as a communications link between college-bound high school students and public and private colleges and universities. For more information, visit http://www.nrccua.org .

Contact: Cara Strothmann
(800)862-7759
caras(at)nrccua(dot)org

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