Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this thesis is to study the influence of social, economic, occupational, cultural, educational, and demographic factors among African American communication professionals on their career choices. A quantitative research design was chosen for this research. The 300-member Black Caucus of the Speech Communication Association was chosen as the survey population. Each member was mailed a 17-item questionnaire. Of the 141 members who responded, 83 were African American; their responses were used in all data analyses. The major findings of this study are the following: (1) interest in or knowledge of the communication field was a significantly more important influence than job security, prestige, financial benefits, or social interaction with peers; (2) two-parent households increase the likelihood of success in college thereby increasing the likelihood of African American students choosing college teaching as a career; (3) African American role models and mentors have a strong influence on African American students and their career choices.


Communication | Race and Ethnicity