Journal of Research in Technical Careers


college-educated women, economic attainment, career patterns, objective career success, family characteristics


Vocational Education


The purpose of this study was to identify latent classes of college-educated late-baby-boomer generation women’s economic attainment (income) patterns during mid-career and examine the family and job satisfaction characteristics within each latent class. Longitudinal latent class analysis was used to analyze income data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 for 607 college-educated women in the United States for the years 1990 to 2010. The analysis revealed five distinct patterns of women’s economic attainment. A majority of the sample (72.7%) fell into the sustained growth group in which women’s economic attainment increased continuously and consistently. Approximately one-third of the sample exhibited sporadic (steady decline, early-sustained, and late rebound) or limited (stagnant growth) patterns. Both newly-formed family and family-of-origin factors differed significantly across classes. However no difference in job satisfaction among classes was found.