G S T logo

Gender and Disciplinary Differences in Future Plans of Postgraduate Students in Pakistan

Munaza Nausheen, Paul William Richardson


This article contributes to current discussions and knowledge concerning gender differences in the future plans and career choices of postgraduate students. It explores and compares the future plans of male and female postgraduate students across different areas of study at a large public university in Pakistan. The sample consisted of 365 postgraduate students (235 of which were female) with a mean age of 22.45 years. The students were enrolled in five different departments: the Department of Gender Studies (DGS); the Department of Mathematics (DM); the Department of Business Education (DBE); the Centre of English Language Teaching and Linguistics (CELTL); and the Institute of Business and Information Technology (IBIT). A regression analysis of one structured response question concerning the importance of various activities after gaining a postgraduate degree revealed that gaining employment was the most important activity that these students wanted to pursue. The current study did not show any significant gender effect on the importance of various future activities, such as employment, studying further, and getting married, although there were some differences noted across areas of study. A thematic analysis of the students’ responses to two open-ended question about the reasons for their preference for, and choice of, a future career revealed reasons such as personal interest, respect, and the suitability of working hours.


Gender, Future Plans, Career orientation, Postgraduates, Disciplinary differences, Pakistan

Full Text: