College of Business Administration (CBA)

Date of Last Revision

2021-09-13 15:39:55



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


This research examines the effect that low skill job opportunities have on the probability of enrollment in postsecondary institutions between men and women, namely the construction and manufacturing industries. The research is based on the human capital investment theory, which states that individuals will enroll in postsecondary institutions when the perceived benefits outweigh the costs. More job opportunity heightens the opportunity cost of enrollment, hence lowering the probability of enrollment. After running a probit model, there is evidence that enrollment is countercyclical and that enrollment decisions do not vary significantly between men and women. I find that a 1 percent increase in the state unemployment rate increases the probability of enrollment by 0.312 and 0.331 percent for men and women, respectively. It is found that an increase in the employment in the construction and manufacturing industries leads to an increased probability of enrollment in postsecondary institutions, which rejects the hypothesis in this research. However, there is a limitation to this since not all low skilled industries are accounted for.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Francesco Renna

First Reader

Dr. Francesco Renna

Second Reader

Dr. Amanda Weinstein

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Erickson



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