University of Tokyo

Survey Number 0533
Survey Title Survey of Retrospective Thoughts on Career Path Selection, 2005
Depositor Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute
(Former Name:Benesse Corporation)
Restriction of Use For detailed information, please refer to 'For Data Users' at SSJDA website.

- Apply to SSJDA. SSJDA's approval required.
Educational Purpose Available for both research and instructional purposes.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
Access to Datasets Download
Nesstar Nesstar (online data analysis & metadata browsing system) is available for this data.
Summary This is a survey of retrospective thoughts on the career path selection of university students for the purpose of identifying influencing factors, including whether to choose science or the humanities, area of specialization chosen, and university selection. Specifically, this survey is a detailed analysis of how students pursuing the fields of science and technology choose a career path and develop their skills and therefore examines the actual state and issues involved in human resource development prior to and during higher education in the fields.

Furthermore, this survey was conducted as part of the “fact-finding survey of fostering and securing human resources in the fields of science and technology” commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2004.
Data Type quantitative research
quantitative research: micro data
Universe Male and female university students in the humanities and science attending 4-year universities in Japan
Unit of Observation Individual
Sample Size Valid responses: 6,463 people (number of questionnaires distributed: 10,000, response rate: 64.6%)
Date of Collection
Time Period
Spatial Unit Japan
Sampling Procedure Sampled a total of 10,000 students from the “Shinkenzemi (‘advanced research seminar’) – zemi reporters (‘seminar reporters’) (university students)” list belonging to the Benesse Corporation and comprised of 2,500 male humanities students, 2,500 female humanities students, 2,500 male science students, and 2,500 female science students attending 4-year universities across Japan.

* “Seminar reporters” is an organization made up of former members of the Benesse Corporation “Shinkenzemi.” Participating staff aid in designing teaching materials and providing various information services for current Shinkenzemi members. Approximately 45,000 university students (including graduate students) across Japan who have agreed to participate upon entering university, etc. are registered as seminar reporters.

*Here, “the humanities” and “science” refer to categories used by the Benesse Corporation, based on the university department (school, college), subject (major, degree program), and course reported by university students themselves when registering and are only used when extracting the sample. Furthermore, the terms “humanities” and “sciences” used for analysis in this survey are based on the results of asking present survey subjects, “Is your field of university study considered the humanities or science?”
Mode of Data Collection Self-administered mail survey
Investigator Benesse Corporation
Sponsors (Funds) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [Questionnaire]
Major Survey Items (1) About when respondent was an elementary and junior high school student
- Relationship with guardians when respondent was in elementary/junior high school
- Elementary/junior high school experience

(2) About when respondent was a high school student
- Likes and dislikes among subjects while in high school
- Influences on career path selection
- Advisors offering opinions on career path selection
- Information sources used for reference
- Concerns when choosing a career path
- Changes in career path during high school

(3) College entrance examination and university currently attending
- Reasons for seeking university education
- Key reasons for university and department/course selection
- Level of satisfaction with university and department/course (facilities/equipment, career path support system, class/education system, faculty, general student life)
- Gap between respondent’s knowledge of the university prior to enrollment and the actual university
- Skills and attitude necessary for learning
- Regular student life

(4) Choosing between the Humanities and science and career path
- Time to select a career path
- Changing major after university enrollment

(5) Future occupation selection
- Desired career path
- Desired industry and occupation type
- Important factors when selecting a workplace
- Attitude to and self-understanding of occupation

(6) Attributes
Gender, year in school, university (founding body, location, department, courses, etc.), high school curriculum and courses, type of university entrance exam, Center Exam subjects, national and public school secondary exam subjects/private university entrance exam subjects, whether currently pursuing the humanities or science
Date of Release
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Topics in SSJDA Education/Learning
Version 2007/04/19 :
Notes for Users Data included on respondent’s high school comprising number of graduates/students advancing to university/entering the workforce, founding body, curriculum, founding year