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."
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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We are graduating fewer comp. sci. majors from unis as a %age of students today than in 1975. And the coursework today is a lot lighter on fundamentals and mathematics. Oy.

As a result of telling boys to major in basketweaving and girls in all things STEM, there has been no change in girls' interest in STEM but now boys are veering from it. Well wait, isn't medicine part of STEM? Yet this article reports very high interest in it from girls. Are they not counting medicine as part of STEM?

In an age when the only decent jobs left for most ppl require technical skills, if our kids' interest in it drops so badly among any subgroup of them (esp. one as big as boys), it bodes badly for the economy.

Most software engineers' phones already ring more often than a 15-year-old hooker's with recruiters at the other end. I can just imagine what it'll be like in 15-20 years. Geeks won't be able to retire not because they don't have savings but b/c the world will badger them incessantly for their services. What a way to go.

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