Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael F. Burnett


The objectives of this study were to: describe business majors in Tennessee universities affiliated with the National Association of Business Teacher Education (NABTE), compare the demographic characteristics of business students among groups of majors, determine the perceived degree of desirability of various business majors, determine the perceived influence of various factors on the selection of a college major by business students and groups of business majors, determine why business students did not choose business teacher education as a major, determine student perceptions toward careers and majors, and compare student perceptions toward careers and majors among different groups of business majors. A researcher designed questionnaire was administered to a modified cluster sample of 366 business students in six NABTE affiliated universities in Tennessee. Two junior level core business classes at each of the six universities participated in the study. Findings indicated that the largest number (97 or 26.5%) of business students chose Accounting as their major while only 4 (1.1%) chose Business Education. When comparing the five groups of majors, the Management/Marketing group had the largest number of majors (123 or 33.6%). Three factors were perceived to be most influential in choosing a business major: (1) potential income, (2) offers broad job opportunities, and (3) type of work involved in this field. Business students perceived the following three factors as most influential in their decision not to choose business teacher education as a major: (1) potential income, (2) I am not familiar with business education as a major, and (3) the type of work involved in teaching. The researcher recommends that colleges and universities strengthen their recruitment program in business teacher education, emphasizing the new or different career options available to business education graduates. Further research to determine why students are choosing an Accounting major is recommended.