College students in social sciences are more likely than business and management majors to become self-employed later in life, a new study finds.

According to researchers at the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, college degrees are more important than race, ethnicity and gender in determining career choices after graduation.

Using Department of Education  data on college graduates from 1993, the agency found those in the social sciences tended to become self-employed at higher rates than students in other disciplines.

By contrast, students majoring in business and management were more likely to work at for-profit companies, while students in health, education or biology worked in the public and non-profit sectors, the study found.

Graduates who became self-employed were also less likely to put a high value on prestige and status.

"Although the self-employed closely resemble the larger population in many ways, for graduates of 1993 their choice of majors and their stated values while in college are linked to their occupational choices a decade later," Chad Moutray, the agency's chief economist, said in a statement.