The paper investigates students’ earning expectations in the context of different motivations towards graduation. Although income benefits of attaining a degree is a thoroughly investigated topic as well as the realization of student wage expectations (see for example, Dominitz and Manski (1996); Betts (1996); (Brunello et al. (2004); Wolter (2001) etc.) there is less emphasis on the earning expectations as a component of learning motivations. Therefore, the main purpose of the study is to define the role of income benefit between the different student expectations.
The paper applies explanatory models in order to respond three research questions. Firstly, we examine the position of students’ wage orientation among other degree-related values (ie. income-oriented/not income oriented students) and explore its determinants. Secondly, the study analyze the background effects of students’ earning expectations. However, unlike the approach of previous research the purpose of this analysis is not to explain the amount of expected income, but also to reveal the causes of differences between the evaluation of individual and average expected earnings (ie. subjective over-/underestimation). Thirdly, by creating a typology on the basis of wage orientations and subjective income-estimations the purpose of the paper is to explore the role of income presumption in students expectations.
The research is based on data from the Hungarian Student Survey, fielded in 2012. The institution based online student survey, carried out within the framework of Hungarian Career Tracking System, covers the full range of Hungarian students and contains the data of up to 40,000 person.