Parental Influence in Choosing a University Major for Native and Non-Native Canadiens

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Noor, Misbah
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There are vast academic literature on why and how students make the decision to choose a specific university major. The academic literature suggests that students choose university majors for various reasons such as economic benefit, job market growth, and genuine interest. However, there is limited research associated with the influence that parents and family may play in the decision-making process and whether cultural background plays a role in decision making. This study is a quantitative study that looks at whether parental or familial influence is a factor that affects the decision-making process of choosing a university major. The study looks specifically at whether parents and children born outside of Canada display more parental influence in choosing a major compared to native Canadian born parents and children. The data was collected at the University of Windsor through an online survey distributed to all undergraduate students. The findings suggest a moderate correlation of parental influence on the decision-making process of choosing a university major when controlling for factors of parental birth, childbirth and fluency in their native language. Furthermore, the data suggested that native-born parents are less likely to influence children compared to non-native born parents. The findings suggest that parental influence is a factor that is associated with students’ decision-making process of choosing a major. However, the data is limited as there was not enough adequate cases to analyze and so a concrete conclusion is problematic. Nevertheless, this study shows the underlying cultural values associated with parents influence in the choosing of a university major.