Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Political Science


College of Humanities and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Adam Chamberlain


The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that while unemployment amongst young college graduates is high, joblessness decreases as students pursue post-baccalaureate degrees. And with national unemployment near 8 percent, it is important for college students to consider what obstacles they may face when entering the workforce. Challenges may include sociohistorical (parent educational attainment) and socioeconomic factors as well as obstacles surrounding various forms of human capital. Using some of these challenges youth face when entering college and/or the workforce, this study predicts the decisions Coastal Carolina University (CCU) students will make post-graduation based upon four elements: parental education, academic achievement, paid work, and faculty-student interaction. I survey a random sample of CCU students assessing future occupational and/or educational plans post-baccalaureate graduation. Overall, the results show that the four selected elements accurately predict CCU student choice after graduation: whether they will enter a graduate program or enter the workforce. Considering, then, that unemployment risks decrease as education beyond a bachelor’s degree increases, CCU faculty have a unique opportunity to shape the economy by encouraging students to pursue schooling post-baccalaureate graduation.