Information Brief 2012-35

Career Interests by Occupational Field and Race/Ethnicity 2012

The career plans of ACT-tested 2012 high school graduates are similar across racial/ethnic groups.1 ACT groups occupations into 26 occupational fields. The chart below includes 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 graduates planned to work in one of these 9 fields.

Career Interests by Race/Ethnicity

Chart showing career interests by race/ethnicity
Career InterestAfrican AmericanAsianHispanicWhite
Applied Arts (Visual)5.34%4.09%6.05%5.29%
Community Services9.6%4.2%8.2%6.92%
Education5.18%2.72%5.77%9.75%
Engineering & Technologies9.88%14.18%11.64%10.74%
Health Care15.65%9.36%13.2%11.94%
Management9.41%7.06%6.98%5.52%
Medical Diagnosis & Treatment9.41%20.54%10.3%12.39%
Natural Science & Technologies4.88%10.46%6.53%7.25%
Social Science5.53%4.04%7.8%5.53%

Note: Data are based on 969,733 ACT-tested 2012 high school graduates who reported an occupational choice and were very sure or fairly sure about their choice. About 9 percent of those students were very sure or fairly sure about their choice but did not specify it.

Similar percentages of students from each racial/ethnic group are choosing many of the same occupational fields. More than 10% of students in each race/ethnicity group are interested in engineering and technologies, health care, or medical diagnosis and treatment fields.

1A similar pattern was observed in 2011, see ACT Information Brief 2012-9.

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