Information Brief 2013-25

Career Interests by Occupational Field and Race/Ethnicity 2013

The career plans of ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates tend to be similar across racial/ethnic groups.1 ACT groups occupations into 26 occupational fields. The chart below includes 10 occupational fields that were chosen by at least 5% of graduates who were very sure or fairly sure about their occupational choice.

Similar percentages of students from each racial/ethnic group are choosing many of the same occupational fields. Approximately 10% or more of students in each race/ethnicity group are interested in engineering and technologies, health care, medical diagnosis and treatment, and personal services, though there are noticeable differences between groups.

Career Interests by Race/Ethnicity

Occupational FieldAfrican AmericanAsianHispanicWhite
Applied Arts (Visual)5.73%4.32%5.99%5.27%
Community Services9.31%4.02%8.12%6.94%
Engineering & Technologies10.04%14.93%12.05%11.25%
Health Care16.03%9.78%13.51%12.06%
Medical Diagnosis & Treatment9.28%19.34%10.35%12.19%
Natural Science & Technologies4.97%10.54%6.5%7.35%
Personal Services24.75%22.85%22.77%24.65%
Social Science5.43%3.89%7.66%5.29%

Note: Data are based on 1,028,768 ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates who reported an occupational choice and were very sure or fairly sure about their choice. About 9% of 2013 high school graduates did not specify a category of career interest.

1 Similar patterns were observed in 2011 and 2012. See ACT Information Briefs 2012-9 and 2012-35.

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