Although the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 17-percent spike in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) employment opportunities through 2018, a new survey finds that teenagers are losing interest in the fields.
The Junior Achievement USA and the ING U.S. Foundation’s 2013 Teens & Careers Survey found a year-over-year decline in teenagers’ interest in the STEM fields, with a 15-percent drop from last year.
Less than half of 1,025 students who participated in the survey expressed interest in a STEM or medical-related job. Students from 14 to 18 years old were interviewed in February for the survey.
Among the most effective ways to foster interest in these subjects is through mentorships and supportive programs, ING notes.
Junior Achievement announced that its new program, JA Career Success, helps students select specific career tracks and matches them with volunteer role models.
“Often, students don’t realize that the classes they take today can significantly shape the careers they build tomorrow, and possibly their long-term financial security,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING U.S. Foundation and senior vice president of ING’s U.S.’s Office of Corporate Responsibility.
“With an emphasis on mentoring and practical skills-building, Junior Achievement’s financial literacy and work readiness programs can play an important role in setting students on a solid career path to future success.”
For additional STEM coverage, check back on IMT Career Journal for more updates.