Diversity Research in students Preparing for STEM Education - Student Research Foundation

Who Is Preparing for STEM Careers? Our Research Finds Surprising Gaps

With all the attention being given to STEM careers, you might think that an equal percentage of students in all categories were preparing with equal enthusiasm for technical careers.

Not so. Research has found surprising disparities in STEM preparation among different groups. Here are some findings you can explore further in the 2018 Student Research Foundation “State of the Union” summary of research.

Males Are More than Twice as Likely to Aspire to STEM Careers

65% of male students aspire to STEM careers, vs. 28% of female. That represents a 37-point gender gap in STEM aspirations.

Wide Disparities Exist among Different Groups Preparing for STEM Careers

Here’s a breakdown . . .

  • Among black students, 60% of males and 24% of females aspire to STEM careers.
  • Among Hispanic students, 66% of males and 28% of females aspire to STEM careers.
  • Among American Indian students, 65% of males and 25% of females aspire to STEM careers.
  • Among white students, 67% of males and 28% of females aspire to STEM careers.
  • Among Middle Eastern students, 65% of males and 24% of females aspire to STEM careers.
  • Among Asian students, 68% of males and 38% of females aspire to STEM careers.

When you dig a little deeper into those figures, you see that among both male and female students, black students are the least likely to consider STEM careers. And Asians are by far the most likely.

Asian Students Take the Most STEM Courses, and Black Students the Fewest

Here’s the breakdown . . .

  • 51% of Asian high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.
  • 48% of white high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.
  • 41% of American Indian high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.
  • 40% of Hispanic high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.
  • 37% of Middle Eastern high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.
  • 30% of black high school students have taken 7 or more STEM classes.

With STEM careers projected to offer a growing number of jobs in the decades to come, effective STEM preparation for students in all groups is imperative for the future of both tomorrow’s workforce and the American economy.

To share your views about disparities in preparation for STEM careers, Participate in the National College & Career Pathway Study and receive information on college and career opportunities which match your interests.

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