Why STEM? Factors that Influence Gifted Students’ Choice of College Majors

Phu Vu, Dena Harshbarger, Sherry Crow, Shelby Henderson
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The purpose of this study was to examine talented/gifted students’ choices of college majors and what factors most  likely affected their decision. By utilizing a data collecting technique called Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) or data mining, we identified and collected data pertaining to 109 talented/gifted students with perfect SAT and/or ACT scores in Nebraska, USA between 2011 and 2016. The results showed that STEM majors were the most common choice of gifted students when they entered colleges (71%). It appears that only gender had a significant difference in terms of STEM major choices.  These findings may be helpful to higher education institutions in their recruitment efforts, especially if they are targeting students with interest in potential STEM majors. In addition, when supporting students on their path to major selection, it is important to ask them about what factors are influencing them to select a certain area.



Gifted students, Talented students, STEM major, College major

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Vu, P., Harshbarger, D., Crow, S., & Henderson, S. (2019). Why STEM? Factors that influence gifted students’ choice of college majors. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 3(2), 63-71.


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International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES)-ISSN: 2651-5369

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