Using the Baccalaureate and Beyond Data (NCES) to Test Role and Goal Congruity Theories’ Predictions for Gender Differences in Majors and Occupations.


The National Center for Educational Statistics includes a nationally representative study of Bachelor degree recipients who were surveyed at the time of graduation, one year after graduation, four years after graduation, and ten years after graduation. It includes four cohorts of students with the most recent graduating in 2016. This “big data” will used to examine theoretically based predictions for gender differences in post-baccalaureate outcomes that are grounded in the tenants of goal congruity theory (Diekman & Steinberg, 2013) and role congruity theory (Diekman & Eagly, 2008). For example, men and women who enter into majors and careers in which their gender is a minority (e.g., women in engineering, men in nursing) will be most likely to change careers; the changes will coincide with other milestones in the emerging adulthood period (22-30 years) that demark the enactment of new roles, especially starting a family. This work is important because workforce shortages in many high demand fields (e.g., computing, engineering, nursing, education) are in fields that are highly gender segregated. If we can understand factors that affect perseverance in these occupations, we may be able to address the workforce shortages.


Total project length: 175 hours

Task ideas

Expected results


Data reduction and data analytics (multilevel, longitudinal, multivariate modeling)

Project difficulty level

Intermediate to Easy


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