Professional Worker Career Experience Survey, United States, 2003-2004 (ICPSR 26782)

Published: Apr 13, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
Joshua L. Rosenbloom, University of Kansas. Department of Economics, and National Bureau of Economic Research; Ronald A. Ash, University of Kansas. School of Business

Version V1

The Professional Worker Career Experience Survey (PWCES) contains responses from 752 working professionals who were surveyed between December 2003 and September 2004. The survey contains a combination of data on personal education and work histories, family structure, employment and demographic characteristics, and variety of personality scales. The data were collected originally as part of an investigation of the reasons for the under representation of women and minorities in the information technology (IT) workforce. The survey instrument was made up of two separate sets of questions. The first part, developed by the University of Kansas (KU) research team, gathered information on the following topics: work history and job characteristics, education history and experiences, family history and experiences, career choice influences, family and other non-work obligations, attitudes and perceptions of work experiences, life/family/work conflicts, job and career satisfaction, personal attitudes and beliefs, and demographic and salary information. The second part of the survey consisted of the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), a widely used vocational counseling instrument that was developed and is maintained by Consulting Psychologists Press (CPP). After completing the first part of the survey users were transferred to a site maintained by CPP and filled out responses to the SII online. CPP then transferred these responses to the KU team and responses from the two parts were matched based on individual identifiers. After the data collection phase was completed the KU research team cleaned the responses by examining consistency of responses. A number of additional variables were also constructed based on survey responses. Respondents were classified as either IT or non-IT employees based on self-reported current career field (one of 13 categories or "Other"), and specific job title (open ended). Based on this information a total of 749 respondents could be placed in one career field or the other, with 200 being coded as IT and 549 coded as non-IT. Data collected in the first part of the survey allowed the KU research team to construct a number of instruments that have been used by previous researchers. These include measures of: Work-family conflict, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work stress. Based on responses to the Strong Interest Inventory it was possible to construct measures of the Big Five Personality Constructs, and Holland's General Occupational Themes. Each of these instruments is described more fully in the glossary included as Appendix A in the user guide. Because not all respondents completed the entire survey sample sizes will depend on the specific questions being analyzed. Demographic variables include education, parent's education, family occupation, occupants in household, spouse/partner occupation, number of children in household, age, race, citizenship, and income.

Rosenbloom, Joshua L., and Ash, Ronald A. Professional Worker Career Experience Survey, United States, 2003-2004 . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-13.

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National Science Foundation (ITWF-0204464)

2003 -- 2004

2003-12-01 -- 2004-09-30

The variable OCCAT2 was originally formatted as a numeric variable with a width of nine. Due to a Stata limitation, this variable was recoded to a width of eight so Stata files could be produced.

Some variable labels were truncated in the original data and thus are truncated in the data files.

Some variables contain truncated value labels. These labels were truncated in the original data file and no documentation exists to correct them.

The PWCES survey was designed to collect data from a matched sample of professionals employed in information technology (IT) and non-IT careers. The non-IT professionals included individuals who are similar to the information technology sample in terms of education level (but not specific degree fields) and who work in jobs with comparable human attribute demands, including written comprehension, oral comprehension, oral expression, written expression, and deductive reasoning. Participation in the survey was solicited from employees at several large organizations with offices in the central United States, from business school and computer science alumni of a large midwestern university, and through contact lists provided by several regional professional associations for IT workers. To encourage participation approximately one-fifth of respondents received a monetary incentive (a $50 gift card from a large electronics retailer). In some samples recipients of the gift card were selected randomly from all respondents; in others the gift cards were offered to the first twenty percent of the target number of respondents. In all cases potential respondents were contacted by e-mail. The message contained an explanation of the survey purpose and general topics to be covered, a privacy disclaimer, and a unique identifier to be used to sign in to the survey. Respondents were informed at the outset that the survey would take approximately 45 minutes to complete, and were given the opportunity to save their responses and return if they needed additional time.

IT and non-IT professionals employed at several large organizations with offices in the central United States and a sample of alumni of Computer Science and Business programs at a large midwestern university.

survey data

web-based survey

  • Strong Interest Inventory General Occupational Themes (GOT)
  • Big Five Personality Constructs and Core Self-Evaluations (NEOAC)
  • Personal Style Scales (PSS)
  • Work-Family Conflict Scale (WFCS)



2010-04-13 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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