Reasons Why Students and parents Choose STEM Careers

By Admin, December 3, 2012


Harris Interactive conducted surveys to know the reasons why some students and parents choose STEM-related careers or courses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the next several years, more than one million jobs will open up that require specialized technology skills. However, there won’t be enough numbers of qualified college graduates to fill them. Harris Interactive conducted two surveys on behalf of Microsoft to understand the shortage of students that take science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related fields. One survey focused on parents with K-12 students while the other one surveyed college students pursuing STEM degrees. The answer seems to vary by gender. Some female STEM students say it was to make a difference that took the 49% of the respondents, and 61% of male students said that games or toys in their childhoods sparked their interest. For 68% of the female respondents, they say that a teacher or class got them interested in science, math, engineering or technology. Several students in the survey said that they majored in STEM for work reasons, 68% mentioned good salary while 66% mentioned job potential. Meanwhile, 68% of those same students also said they majored in STEM because they found it stimulating and challenging. Harris Interactive asked parents about their perception of STEM education in K-12. They found out that 93% of parents say that STEM education should be a priority in the US, while 49% believe it is treated as a priority. Moreover, 50% of them wants to see their children to take a career in STEM, and only 24% said they were willing to spend extra money to make their kids successful in math and science classes.

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