Student Mismatch With STEM Interests

February 6, 2014

High school students with interest in science and technology fields aren't planning careers in STEM,  according to new ACT report.

Of the 2013 high school graduates who took the ACT, 48 percent had either expressed interest in the fields or their answers to the work task questionnaire portion of the test suggested STEM as a good job match. From that 48 percent, 23 percent plan to pursue STEM as a major or a career, even if the field isn’t the best match for them, based on their preferences. The report expresses concern about  the 9 percent who show some interest in working in a STEM field, but say they won’t pursue it as a career. Another issue: about half of the 2013 ACT test takers who planned to go into STEM weren’t ready to successfully succeed in first year college math or science, based on their educational backgrounds, according to the report. “Early assessment and intervention” are needed to help students, said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions.

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