Understanding the Career Choice for Underrepresented Minority Doctoral Students in Science and Engineering

Audrey Jaeger, Frimpomaa Daagye Ampaw, Karen J. Haley, John S. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored the career choices of underrepresented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics minority graduate students through the lens of identity theory. Twelve participants from a research university in the West participated in in-depth interviews. Themes were developed using work from Holland et al. (Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) including figured worlds, positionality, self-authoring, and agency. Positionality, as described by students' roles in academia, appeared to be influenced by the nature of "doing" science and engineering. Graduate students in this study found the world of academia in conflict with their own values and identity. What they wanted as a career was often inconsistent with their perceptions of what they observed in a faculty role at a research university.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Career choice
  • Doctoral students
  • Faculty
  • Graduate students
  • Identity
  • Self-authoring

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