Economics most popular sector for vmbo students

07/07/2011 15:00

Until 2007/’08, students in preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo) could choose one of the four discipline sectors agriculture, health, personal care and welfare, economics, or technology. Since then it has also been possible to combine sectors in so-called inter-sectoral programmes. As a result pupils can broaden  their education and keep their options open on the labour market. More and more pupils are taking the opportunity to combine sectors. 

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4, 2006/’07–2010/’11

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4, 2006/’07–2010/’11

From health, personal care and welfare to economics

Health, personal care and welfare was the most popular sector in school year 2006/’07, but by 2010/’11 it had been replaced by economics. Around 27 percent of pupils chose this sector, with technology and health, personal care and welfare following closely. Agriculture has attracted a fairly constant share of pupils for years now: about 12 to 13 percent. When the option to combine sectors was introduced in 2007/’08, 4.3 percent of vmbo pupils decided to do this. In the current school year, 1 in 10 pupils have combined sectors.

Boys combine technology with another sector

Technology still attracts most boys, although it has become slightly less popular. In school year 2006/’07, 49 percent of boys chose technology, this year it was 43 percent. Economics is in second place, accounting for 28 percent. The share of boys choosing economics rose slightly in 2010/’11. Since the combination option was introduced, more and more boys have chosen to do this. In 2010/’11, 11.5 percent of boys combined two sectors. Many of them chose technology alongside another sector. Health, personal care and welfare is the least popular sector for boys; only 5 percent of them choose this discipline.

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4: boys, 2006/’07–2010/’11

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4: boys, 2006/’07 – 2010/’11

Fewer girls choosing health, personal care and welfare

For girls on the other hand, health, personal care and welfare is still the most popular choice, although the share choosing this sector fell from 56 percent in 2006/’07 to 48 percent in 2010/’11. Technology is still the least popular sector, accounting for only around 4 percent of girls in vmbo.

More and more girls, too, are combining sectors. Eight percent combined two sectors this year. Like boys, many of them combine technology with another sector. Following a dip, economics seems to becoming more popular among girls. 

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4: girls, 2006/’07–2010/’11

Sector choices in vmbo years 3 and 4: girls, 2006/’07 – 2010/’11

Arjan de Wit