Thursday, August 22, 2013

Young People and STEM: Did You Know That...


By Sam Piha


In 2012, a report entitled Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs? was published. This report focused on high school aged youth and STEM careers. Below are some findings cited in that report.



  • One out of four high school students indicates interest in pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics major or career. 

  • High school seniors are about 10% less likely than high school freshmen  to indicate interest in STEM majors and careers. 

  • Male students are over three times  more likely to be interested in STEM majors and careers, compared to female students.


  • While the gender gap in STEM interest had remained relatively steady over the past two decades, it is now increasing  at a significant rate. 

  • Mechanical Engineering is the most popular major/career choice among STEM students, followed by Biology. 

  • Nearly one-third of students with STEM major or career interest will be the first in their families to attend college.  

  • Female students are significantly more likely to be interested in the STEM majors/careers of Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology and Science. 

  • Hispanic students with STEM interest are significantly more likely to be first generation college-bound, compared to other ethnic groups. 

  • STEM major/career interest among high school seniors has increased by over 20% since the graduating class of 2004. 

  • Engineering and Technology interest are on the rise, while interest in Science and Mathematics has decreased over the past few years.

  • American Indian students are the most likely to be interested in Engineering, compared to students of other ethnic groups. 


  • One-quarter of students interested in STEM majors or careers are taking Advanced Placement courses in high school. 


  • Since the graduating class of 2000, African American interest in STEM majors/careers has dropped by nearly 30%. 


  • STEM students are more likely to prefer attending a small or medium-sized college that is close to home, compared to non-STEM students. 


  • Interest in Electrical/Electronic Engineering is higher among underrepresented ethnic groups, compared to Asian and Caucasian students. 


  • Students with STEM interest are nearly twice as likely to be interested in attending a vocational or technical college, compared to students without STEM interest. 

  • Male students are significantly more likely to be interested in the STEM majors/ careers of Mechanical Engineering, Game Design/Development, and Computer Science. 


  • Four years ago, high school seniors were 50% more likely to report being interested in Mathematics majors and careers than seniors today. 


  • Female students are over twice as likely to be interested in Environmental Science, compared to male students. 





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