Female Engineering Students’ Motivations, Career Decisions, and Decision-Making Processes: A Social Cognitive Career and Motivation Theory

Luis Miguel Dos Santos


Although women’s rights and career developments have changed over the past decade, only a few updated studies have been conducted to understand the current backgrounds of women in engineering. This study aims to understand and investigate the motivations, career decisions, and decision-making processes of a group of women in the engineering industry, specifically, a group of electrical and electronic engineering students in Taiwan. Based on social cognitive career and motivation theory, the study was guided by two research questions: 1) Why do Taiwanese female electrical and electronic engineering students decide to study this major at university level? 2) Do the participants intend to join the electrical and electronic engineering industry after graduation? Why or why not? The general inductive approach research design with interview, focus group, and member checking interview were used. The results indicated that academic interests, interests in career development, and job security concerns played significant roles in the motivations, career decisions, and decision-making processes of a group of female engineering students in Taiwan. The results of this study filled the gaps in gender discrimination, social stigma, and stereotype toward women in engineering, particularly in Taiwan.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v11n5p264


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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email: jct@sciedupress.com

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