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ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING FEMALE STUDENTS’ DECISIONS IN CHOOSING ENGINEERING PROGRAMS

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Engineering, as defined by Stark (2008), is the application of knowledge in mathematics and natural sciences gained by study to use the materials and forces of nature efficiently. Engineers are necessary for nations’ economies, and for the design, development and maintenance of infrastructure and technology to sustainably satisfy communities’ needs and lifestyles (Bush, Chapman & Male, 2009). Over the years, the profession has been dominated heavily by men. Although efforts had been done to increase the population of women on engineering, women still represents only a fraction in the workplace. (UN, 2010)
This could be attributed to the common misconceptions about engineering. Most people have insufficient knowledge on what kind of work engineers really do. The perception of engineering as a male profession has also influenced most women to prefer other programs than engineering. Competencies required in engineering have also affected the preference of women on taking up such programs.
The purpose of this study is to identify the factors affecting the female students’ decisions on pursuing engineering programs. This in turn would be analyzed in order to contribute to the existing literature that could be used to address the issue of having low female students enrolling on any of engineering programs at De La Salle Lipa.
By the end of the study, the researchers assume that they would be able to identify and analyze the factors affecting the decisions of female students in choosing engineering programs.
The study aims to seek answers on several questions identified by the researchers. The first one is how women perceive the engineering programs before pursuing them. The second question identified is what reasons the responden...

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... to pursue engineering programs.
On the other hand, findings from quantitative study conducted by Marshall, McClymont & Joyce (2007) showed that perceptions on engineering works are related to manual work. This includes building or construction, more of machine and engine works and other field works rather office works.
Despite the above-mentioned factors, some women still prefer to break the barrier and continue to pursue engineering programs. Knowing that a lot of benefits could be achieved, these women get motivated to finish their studies and become engineers. Some of these benefits are: job satisfaction; variety of career opportunities; development of logical, spatial and mathematical skills; financial security; prestige; potential contribution to the society (Discovery Press, 2007). These benefits do not only concern women themselves, but also the society.
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