Career Expectations and Major Choice

Last registered on October 08, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Career Expectations and Major Choice
Initial registration date
October 07, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 08, 2021, 10:24 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Harvard University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Many college students hold mistaken beliefs about the mapping between college major and subsequent occupations. We study how providing information about career prospects influences class and major choice.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Conlon, John and Dev Patel. 2021. "Career Expectations and Major Choice ." AEA RCT Registry. October 08.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes are class and major choice, as well as short-term survey based measures of beliefs and intentions. We will investigate whether the treatment has heterogeneous effects according to students' baseline beliefs about career and intended major as well as their academic status (e.g., transfer vs first-year, class rank, honors status).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Students in the Exploration program at Ohio State will be randomized into two groups: a control group that receives no information about how majors map onto careers, and a treatment group that does. Students who consent into the study also provide permission for our partners at Ohio State to share academic transcript data with us, allowing us to track the effect of the information intervention over time.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Treatment was randomly assigned using a computer within strata constructed based on responses from a baseline survey conducted in Fall 2021.
Randomization Unit
Randomization was conducted at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
There are approximately 1,000 students in the exploration program, and all students are eligible to participate in the experiment.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately half of students will be assigned to treatment and half to control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number