Best-Fitting Major

Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Planned Major Area and Best-Fitting Major Area Among Students with Moderate/Poor Interest-Major Fit, 2013

The left side of the tornado chart shows the distribution of students by their planned major area for those students who had either moderate or poor Interest-Major Fit.

  • Nearly 1 out of 4 of these students selected planned major areas in the area of Health Sciences and Technologies.

The right side of the tornado chart shows the redistribution of these students into suggested major areas by assigning them to the major that offers the best fit given their interests.

  • If these students entered college majors that were the best fit with their interests, the share of students in such areas as Health Sciences and Technologies would decrease, whereas the share of students in areas such as Business would increase.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Planned Major Area and Best-Fitting Major Area Among Students with Moderate/Poor Interest-Major Fit, 2013

Graph reads: 9% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who had moderate or poor fit between their choice of planned major and their interests selected a planned major in the area of Engineering.

Major AreaPlanned Major AreaBest-Fitting Major Area
Health Sciences and Technologies24%8%
Social Sciences and Law11%4%
Business11%18%
Engineering9%1%
Arts: Visual and Performing7%3%
Education7%16%
Sciences: Biological and Physical6%1%
Health Administration and Assisting5%8%
Community, Family, and Personal Services4%13%
Computer Science and Mathematics3%7%
Communications2%3%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation2%4%
Engineering Technology and Drafting2%3%
Architecture2%1%
English and Foreign Languages1%3%
Repair, Production, and Construction1%4%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology0.7%1%
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies0.1%3%

Note: Based on 43% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who selected a planned major when they registered for the ACT, completed the ACT Interest Inventory, and had an Interest-Major Fit Index score in the ranges of poor fit or moderate fit.


Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Planned Major Area, Best-Fitting Major Area, and Gender Among Students with Moderate/Poor Interest-Major Fit, 2013

The first tornado chart provides the distribution of females and males by their planned major area for those students who had either moderate or poor Interest-Major Fit.

The second tornado chart provides the redistribution of these same females and males into suggested major areas by assigning them to the major that offers the best fit given their interests.

  • As this chart shows, if students entered college majors that were the best fit with their interests, there would be greater gender balance for these students across the 18 planned major areas.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Planned Major Area, Best-Fitting Major Area, and Gender Among Students with Moderate/Poor Interest-Major Fit, 20133

Graph reads: 17% of males from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who had moderate or poor fit between their choice of planned major and their interests selected a planned major in the area of Engineering.

Planned Major Area
Major AreaFemaleMale
Health Sciences and Technologies32%14%
Social Sciences and Law12%9%
Education9%5%
Business8%14%
Health Administration and Assisting8%2%
Arts: Visual and Performing7%7%
Sciences: Biological and Physical6%5%
Community, Family, and Personal Services5%4%
Engineering3%17%
Communications2%2%
English and Foreign Languages2%0.8%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation2%3%
Computer Science and Mathematics1%6%
Architecture1%3%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology0.5%0.9%
Engineering Technology and Drafting0.4%4%
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies0.2%0.1%
Repair, Production, and Construction0.2%3%
Best-Fitting Major Area
Major AreaFemaleMale
Health Sciences and Technologies8%7%
Social Sciences and Law4%3%
Education19%13%
Business17%19%
Health Administration and Assisting9%6%
Arts: Visual and Performing4%2%
Sciences: Biological and Physical1%1%
Community, Family, and Personal Services13%14%
Engineering1%2%
Communications3%3%
English and Foreign Languages3%2%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation2%6%
Computer Science and Mathematics7%8%
Architecture1%1%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology2%1%
Engineering Technology and Drafting3%3%
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies3%3%
Repair, Production, and Construction2%5%

Note: Based on 42% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender, selected a planned major when they registered for the ACT, completed the ACT Interest Inventory, and had an Interest-Major Fit Index score in the ranges of poor fit or moderate fit.


As mentioned in an earlier section of this report, at the time of ACT registration, 15% of students were undecided about their planned major choice and 6% did not provide a planned major.

Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Best-Fitting Major Area and Undecided/Missing Planned Major Status, 2013

The tornado chart provides the distribution of these students into the 18 major areas by assigning them to the major that offers the best fit given their interests.

  • For both groups of students, 50% or more have interests that are the best fit with a major in the areas of Business; Education; Community, Family, and Personal Services; and Computer Science and Mathematics.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Best-Fitting Major Area and Undecided/Missing Planned Major Status, 2013

Graph reads: 3% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who were undecided about their choice of planned major have an interest profile that is the best fit with a major in the area of Communications.

Major AreaUndecidedMissing
Business15%17%
Education14%12%
Community, Family, and Personal Services12%10%
Computer Science and Mathematics9%13%
Health Sciences and Technologies8%5%
Health Administration and Assisting6%3%
Arts: Visual and Performing4%5%
Repair, Production, and Construction4%8%
Social Sciences and Law4%2%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation4%5%
Engineering Technology and Drafting4%6%
Communications3%4%
English and Foreign Languages3%2%
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies3%2%
Sciences: Biological and Physical2%2%
Engineering2%2%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology2%1%
Architecture1%3%

Note: Based on 14% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who were either undecided about their choice of planned major or did not provide a planned major when they registered for the ACT and completed the ACT Interest Inventory.


Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Best-Fitting Major Area and Gender Among Students with Undecided/Missing Planned Major Status, 2013

For those students who either were undecided about their planned major choice or did not provide a planned major, the tornado chart provides the distribution of females and males into the 18 major areas by assigning them to the major that offers the best fit given their interests.

  • A notable share of females have interests that are the best fit with a major in the areas of Education; Business; and Community, Family, and Personal Services.
  • A notable share of males have interests that are the best fit with a major in the areas of Business; Community, Family, and Personal Services; and Computer Science and Mathematics.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Best-Fitting Major Area and Gender Among Students with Undecided/Missing Planned Major Status, 2013

Graph reads: 10% of males from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who were undecided about or were missing their choice of planned major have an interest profile that is the best fit with a major in the area of Education.

Major AreaFemaleMale
Education17%10%
Business15%16%
Community, Family, and Personal Services11%12%
Health Sciences and Technologies8%6%
Computer Science and Mathematics7%11%
Health Administration and Assisting6%5%
Arts: Visual and Performing6%3%
Communications4%3%
Social Sciences and Law4%3%
English and Foreign Languages4%2%
Engineering Technology and Drafting3%5%
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies3%2%
Repair, Production, and Construction2%7%
Sciences: Biological and Physical2%2%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology2%1%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation2%6%
Architecture1%2%
Engineering1%3%

Note: Based on 14% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender, were either undecided about their choice of planned major or did not provide a planned major when they registered for the ACT, and completed the ACT Interest Inventory.