Research study on High School students who want to major in Computer Science in college - Student Research Foundation

Research on Students Who Plan to Study Computer Science in College

Students Who Plan to Study Computer Science in College Still Need Lots of Career Advice

The Student Research Foundation asked 267,363 American high school students about their career plans. Of those students, 33,535 expressed interest in computer careers.

That sounds about right, doesn’t it? But the study also uncovered something that borders on the shocking . . .

The students who said they were interested in studying computer science in college were actually less certain about their career plans than other students were

As a teacher, parent or counselor who advises students on career planning, you would probably think that when a student says, “I want to major in computer science in college,” your job is done. But not so.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the computer science survey’s findings.

Educational Uncertainty

As we noted above, students who aspire to computer careers are actually less certain about their post-secondary education plans than other students are: 20% vs. 15%.

Students feel about the same levels of uncertainty, regardless of their gender. The study found that uncertainty holds for females, 20% for future computer students vs. 13% for others; and for males, 21% vs. 18%.

Computer career aspirants are more uncertain of their post-secondary education plans than are peers who aspire to other types of STEM careers (20% vs. 16%). Furthermore, among STEM aspirants:

  • 20% of females aspiring to computer careers feel uncertain about their career options, vs. 12% aspiring to other STEM careers.
  • 21% of males aspiring to computer careers feel uncertain about their career options, vs. 18% aspiring to other STEM careers.

What Must Be Done?

Clearly, students need to know more about the careers they can pursue after majoring in computer science in college. As a teacher, parent or counselor, here are some options to consider:

  • Invite professionals who are working in computer fields to visit your school and explain what they do.
  • Encourage students to work jobs and internships that give them experience in computer-related careers.
  • Assign class projects in which students research different computer careers and report their findings back to their peers.
  • Show videos in class that explain different computer careers – how to prepare for them, what kind of work they involve, and more.

Teachers & Parents, We Invite You Help Your Students Explore All Their Career and College Options . . .

Have your students participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with their interests, passions, and aptitudes. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

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