Because the Young Women's survey was developed to examine the transition from school to work, significant effort was devoted to collecting information on future educational and occupational goals.
From 1968 to 1978, questions were asked about the respondent's goal for her completed education (categories range from less than high school to 7 or more years of college), the actual amount of education she expected to receive, and the reason for any change in her educational plans between surveys. For generational comparisons, the respondent's report of her parents' goal for her education was collected in select survey years, as was the respondent's educational goal for her own children. Table YW4 summarizes the reference numbers for this data and indicates universe limitations where applicable.
Table YW4. Summary of Information on Educational Plans
Respondent's educational goal1
Comparison of current year's goal to goal at last interview
Reason for change in goal2
Actual educational level expected
Respondent's goal for own children3
Parents' goal for respondent at age 14
1 Enrolled respondents only
2 Asked only of respondents whose educational goal changed between surveys
3 Asked only of respondents with children
In order to map educational experience to future employment experience, the NLS collected information on the Young Women's occupational goals as they moved into adulthood. Thus, from 1968 to 1987 (when the last respondent reached age 35), questions were asked on their future plans, including the occupation they desired at age 35. Two questions were addressed to respondents who had not yet reached that age. Typically, the first question (e.g., R00329.00 in 1968) asked what respondents' plans were for age 35. This question was asked of all respondents regardless of their current employment status. The response set included: (1) working at a different job; (2) working at the same job as the current/most recent job; (3) married, keeping house, raising a family; and (4) other. Users should be aware that coding categories for this variable have changed slightly over time and the codebook should be consulted before using individual survey year items in computer programs.
To complete information on the respondent's occupational goal, a second question collected verbatim information on the type of occupation the respondent desired at age 35. This information was then coded in multiple ways. In most survey years, the occupation was coded according to standard Census three-digit occupation codes. In addition, data were coded using a variety of prestige indices, including a measure of the atypicality of the occupation and the Bose and Duncan Indices (see the Occupations section for a discussion of the various indices and additional references). The atypicality index measures the difference for each three digit occupational category between women as a percentage of all workers in that occupation and women as a percentage of the experienced civilian labor force in 1970 (see Appendix 5 in the Codebook Supplement). Table YW5 gives reference numbers for the variables discussed above.
For select survey years (1969-73), items that distinguished whether a respondent's occupational goal had changed between the current and last survey are also provided in the data set, along with the respondent's reason for the change in her occupational plans.
Table YW5. Summary of Information on Occupational Plans
Type of Variable
Respondent's plans for age 35
Occupation desired at age 35
Related Variables: For more information about occupation variables, see the Occupations section. For Education information, see the Education section.
Survey Instruments: Questions on expectations are found in the "Educational Status" and "Attitudes" questionnaire sections.