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Study: Boys’ Interest in STEM Careers Declining

Article here. Excerpt:

'TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT OF boys want a STEM career, down from 36 percent last year, indicating a more general trend of declining interest in STEM, according to a recent report.

The Junior Achievement USA and Ernst & Young survey of 13-to-17-year-old students highlights how teens' career choices, educational priorities and economic outlook shifted over a year and how they vary by gender. According to the survey, while boys' interest in STEM dropped by 12 percentage points, girls' interest remained unchanged at 11 percent both years.

Ed Grocholski, senior vice president of brand at Junior Achievement and manager of this project, says the declining interest in STEM could be due to children's fear of inadequacy. A January Pew Research Center survey confirmed this speculation among U.S. adults, as 52 percent said the main reason young people don't pursue STEM college degrees is because they believe those fields are "too hard."
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But STEM isn't the only field witnessing a decline in interest, as desires for careers in the arts dropped from 18 percent to 13 percent. Meanwhile, interest in careers in medical and dental fields increased from 15 to 19 percent, with girls "far more likely to choose this path" than boys, according to the survey. Grocholski explains this can be due to girls' passion for helping people.'

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